Those who know me well are only too aware of the loss I have felt since my dear friend Maeve died in December 2011. Fortunately, she has left many legacies in my life, from a Slightly Foxed tea mug, tin of string, a Persephone notebook which she insisted should be my commonplace book, a little cardboard box from Venice with lovely pink marbling, to knowing the importance of warming tea cups before pouring and, above all, the value of courtesy and kindness.
She had a special friend and neighbour who was her rock during her last months, Pauline, a feisty, down to earth fellow nurse, whose humour and strength made such a difference to that difficult time. In fact, my last meeting with Maeve was with Pauline as well, and typically all I can remember is how much we laughed.
Maeve was no horticulturalist. So, when her amaryllis went over, Pauline took it on and grew it to flower the next year. This year she gave it to me. Flower it has, spectacularly, with the added joy of remembering Maeve every time I admire it.
I decided to paint it in my usual rather slapdash style, one which Maeve admired (but, then, she always admired everything with 'what a girl you are!'). So, here it is, to you, dear lady.