This is a post I didn’t want to be writing.
Laurie Frost died on Christmas Eve morning. For those of you who have been here for the last fourteen years, you will know that Laurie wrote a rather good, not to mention thorough, book on absolutely everything to do with Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials in The Definitive Guide.
Her book started a cross-Atlantic friendship which unfortunately never led to an actual meeting between us. But I decided some time ago that this was fine, and that one can have good relationships online. And I did get to ‘bully’ Laurie into flying to New York from her then home in Alabama to meet Philip Pullman. She was hesitant, even though she had written this great book, and even though she and Philip had corresponded, but I said if she could carve out the time and had the funds, she must go.
I’m glad she did, and I believe she was too.
For us it began when she sent her book to [my then teenage] Son for a review, and I also read and reviewed it and then wrote to her, and just happened to suggest that Son and I could travel to Oxford to find her photos of the places where Lyra and Will spend time. Laurie then incorporated them into the reprint of her book.
We then moved on to more normal topics for discussion, such as our [similarly aged] children, and life, and stuff. A very busy and active woman, Laurie was the kind of friend who’d embroider a witch for Christmas. And who in turn ‘appreciated’ a flower made from an airline sickbag, or barfbag as she called it.
Today would have been Laurie’s birthday. She’d been ill for quite a few years, so I’m grateful that she lived rather longer than I suspect she thought she would, when she first told me of her illness.
The world needs enthusiasts like Laurie; someone who would dive deep into something that interested her. And she was someone who stood up for her family, defending them whenever necessary. I’m thinking of them today.