The passing of Keith Floyd at quite a young age is sad in that he showed food, wine and life the way it should be - fun.
One can say he lived, with businesses that succeeded, and some that failed. He saw bankruptcy, and drank a lot of wine, leading to some trouble (a drink driving conviction with a traffic accident). A man who entertained millions.
He went through four marriages, though of his latest partner he said:
Who can deny that this is the statement of a man who embraced what life is about. Shamelessly being alive. Shamelessly living for a sense of life.
Is it possible to be a teenager in love when you are 65? I reckon it is. But why am I so sure that this will work when my other relationships have failed?
For many reasons. We already have a friendship that has lasted for 40 years — we know each other well. We know each other’s irritating foibles — I can be grumpy and Celia talks to herself and is quite clumsy. She cannot cook, but she can sew and she can make the flowers grow . . . and somehow she manages brilliantly.
To sit in the garden, under a Provencal sunset, chatting and laughing and loving each other, is my idea of heaven. I will not mess up this one.
It is sad he died after a great lunch following be informed he was clear of bowel cancer. Petroc Trelawny has links to some great clips of Floyd, but reminds us of the time we are now in when:
"Can you imagine a TV performer now being allowed to admit to a hangover, let alone drink several bottles in the course of a programme ?
On screen Floyd was never anyone but himself."
In an age when lemon faced doom merchants peddle warnings about what to do and what not to do, tell us about the harm of alcohol more than the pleasure of good wine, and warn of the need to moderate, of armageddon, when Islam pushes sacrifice and restraint, and the Vatican sells a similar motto of suffering and denial, and politicians tell of sacrifice.
Floyd reminded us all of what the point is of life.
To live it. To take risks, accept the consequences and responsibility, but to enjoy yourself doing it.
Perchance there ever be a politician who could even begin to understand this?