I’m on holiday, staying in Perth, and consequently I’ve been a bit out of touch. So I’d managed not to hear the news that arrived in my inbox this morning, that my friend Lola died in Bolivia last Sunday, chasing a story.
I knew her best at university, where she seemed like a beacon of inspiration and laughter compared with the rest of us, and no-one doubted that her talent and dedication would prevent her life ever being mundane. After university we didn’t see a lot of each other, the pressures of working in Brussels and becoming an award-winning producer and journalist keeping her from spending much time with directionless bums, but I saw her occasionally in town, and heard about her life through mutual friends. We’d just got back in touch earlier this year, and I was looking forward to catching up with her next time she was in the UK: she had a knack of making me feel as if we were great friends that had just been busy, and I know her warmth and energy were things everybody was treated to. A surname, a comma and an age aren’t how I wanted to hear about her. It’s monstrously unfair that she isn’t in the world any more.
Here’s a tribute to Lola from someone who knew her better, and another from someone who knew her in Bolivia. And there’s a site, http://www.lolaalmudevar.com/, for memories and condolences. Bye Lola. Thanks.