August – 2008

Hello everybody. Just to say I had a lovely day on 17th July opening a gorgeous new charity shop in Stroud High Street in aid of the Blue Cross. I love the Blue Cross, it’s a wonderful charity, which does so much to rescue animals, to give them sanctuary, find them new homes and treat them in wonderful hospitals round the country. All the staff have such charming manners. The new shop is lovely, a great aid to shopping in Stroud and will be invaluable for any Christmas presents.

I took to the opening Feather, my greyhound, who was very proud to wear a Blue Cross scarf. He was accompanied by his friend, William the mongrel, who was rather cross not to get in all the photographs, because he usually does. Feather and I can be seen on the right.

My Brother Timothy who sadly passed away recently after a long struggle with illness.
Last week I was very pleased to be invited, together with five other authors, to write a very short 300 word love story for The Times. My story was about my brother, Timothy Sallitt’s reciprocal love for a jackdaw he tamed when he was away at school at Rugby, back in the forties. As usual I wrote far too many words and was very nervous when The Times 2 editor, Tom Whipple, said he’d have to cut it by half. Happily he did a beautiful job and I was very, very pleased with the result. You can read it here.

This story had a poignant twist because my brother Timothy had borne, for the last few years, horrible illness with incredible courage. I was so pleased that he was delighted with his story being retold in The Times and we had a long, happy conversation about it on the Thursday night, of the 7th August. Sadly the following night he died very peacefully. He was an absolutely gorgeous, incredibly funny man and I and his wife, Angela and their children, Henry, Amelia and Lulu and their families and his scores of friends will all miss him dreadfully. But one cannot deny that it was a wonderful way to go. My brother, Timothy was very modest about his extremely distinguished career. He ran Hawker Siddley International for many years, during which time he was awarded the CBE for services to export.

Ian Rankin and I will be appearing together at the Cheltenham Literature Festival Ian Rankin is, like my brother, an incredibly talented but modest man. He is a wonderful writer and it will be a privilege to appear with him at the Cheltenham Literary Festival on 18th October at 6 o’clock. We’re supposed to be talking about how writing about sex has changed since the sixties! I am very nervous!

Read more of Jilly's notes from: