A week and a half ago, I attended a briefing for Canterbury Councillors at Cow Lane Day Centre. The briefing went well, and afterwards I went for a quick beer with three colleagues - Alan Marsh, Mike Harrison and John Law. It was a lovely summer's evening and we all chatted happily in the evening sun.
But just three days later, John Law had a massive stroke, and despite the best possible care and attention, John passed away in the early hours of this morning.
John and I were both elected to KCC in 2001, and struck up an immediate rapport. He was tenacious and forthright, and could be one of the most stubborn men I had ever met. But he was passionate, and hated to think of tax payers' money being wasted.
The sudden loss of a friend and colleague is a sobering experience, and your mind turns to your own life. Is it fulfilling? Is it all you intended it to be? Are you loved or just liked? Respected or just tolerated?
John was surrounded by his family when he passed away, and when the Council Chamber stands at its September meeting as a mark of respect to John, many will be thinking how KCC will be the poorer for his passing.