Two people I know died over the Christmas holidays.

The first one, Colin, had a profound influence on me 40 years ago. He was one of my favourite teachers at school. I liked and respected him, and the feeling was reciprocated. As a result, I wanted to learn from him, and he became one of the most influential people in my life at that time.

I hadn't seem him for years, and had lost count of the number of times I'd said to myself "I really must get in touch and catch up."

The second, Howard, I only met in November. I'd spent less than 2 hours with him in total, but again, he was someone I immediately liked and respected. I was looking forward to developing a real friendship with him this year.

Colin was probably getting close to 80, so it wasn't a complte surprise to hear the news. Howard, was only 50 - 4 years younger than me.

I am deeply grateful that I have known both these men, and regrutful that I will not now know either of them better.

The biggest lesson they have jointly left me with is Don't Delay - you really don't know what may happen tomorrow.

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