Robert Fripp (1946) is een Britse gitarist. Hij houdt een online dagboek met foto's bij.
Up at 03.30. A reflective breakfast & then grocery shopping via Starbucks. A new Starbucks is being built on the way to the old Starbucks, which is only 100 yards away. Then back to the hotel for practising.
Beaton Bunnerius Bun has died.
He has been in lodgings with Toyah's parents since just before we left Reddish and, although an old prince of his kind now, he has been much loved and cared for. They took him to the local vet for an eye operation and the vet, without reference to anyone, decided to put him down. He was an old bun, you see, and not worth the operation.
Toyah has just called with this news & is very upset. She planned to be with Bun when he died, as she was with Cecil Ratticus Roo, Beaton's predecessor (I was in Argentina with Crimson, September 1994). Toyah's mother is too upset to talk.
What arrogance on behalf of the vet, an American might say, shortly before calling their lawyer. This is an aspect of Englishness I grew up inside: professionals of many kinds, particularly those to do with health, knew better than you. So, they made choices on your behalf, without consultation.
When I was 18 I was given a deviated septum at Westbourne Hospital. No-one explained to me what was going to happen, the nature of the operation, the results or procedure involved, or offered any choice in the matter. In America, strangely still without social health care, I found it refreshing to be part of discussions with doctors on the fate of my body, on the rare occasions I needed consultations. Like, as if patients had choices in their own lives.
My Father was in Boscombe Hospital shortly before Christmas 1984, with a build-up of fluid (dropsy had killed his mother at the age of 59). The hospital wanted to keep him in over Christmas, and were most concerned that Dad wanted to come home for the holiday: Christmas was always the focus of the Fripp family year. My Mother reminded me, several years later, that I'd said: "If my Dad wants to die at home, I'll take him home". And so I did, regardless of professional concerns. (Dad flew away the following April).
My dear Mother was herself very clear that there should be no attempts to artificially prolong her life, or to resuscitate her when she was clearly gone (she witnessed these attempts on others in her own last days in hospital).
So, my family are quite straightforward in matters of their dying, and concerned that they have the last word in this, their own sacred process. We are not prepared to allow "professionals" to take our decisions for us. This extends to the lives of pets, who are (as anyone with a pet will know) part of the feeling life of the family. Children feel this, their first brush with mortality, very keenly. Even for those a little wrinklier, who have known death & dying, their inner child continues to experience & mourn the loss of a pet.
Beaton was a spirited & characterful bun. He would hurtle up the flights of stairs to the bedroom & sleep under our bed, snoring loudly throughout the night before running back downstairs at daylight. Although a celibate, this was probably not a choice he would have made for himself. The only intimate connection he developed was with the towel he laid on, which became the unresponsive object of his passion. Bun was also drawn to music, and would sit by my feet when he heard me practising in the study. As a younger, adventurous, bun he would go exploring in the garden, hiding in the heart of bushes when pursued. He was even known to escape down the village street. But he always returned for food and his towel. Beaton starred in several magazines, sometimes allowing Toyah to appear in the photo with him.