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Tuesday, 2 March 2010

A Song for Guy

There are times when the state of UK broadband has forced myself and others to more than tears - mainly of frustration and exasperation, at the idiocy of our quangos, govt, telcos etc. Tonight, they are tears of sadness.

One night, many moons ago, after an astonishingly successful event at Olympia - the first WLAN - for a group of community wireless aficionados who had blagged a stand from Piers Bearne, our meet up in a nearby pub revealed, after quite a few beers, that I didn't have anywhere to stay that night. That's nothing new, and I am still awaiting a PA to descend from the spectrum and sort the admin side of my life out after once again having found myself in the NFA situation this week in subzero temperatures. Too much talking to do post-colloq (thanks, David Winder for the fab meal.)

Back in Olympia, Guy Kewney a.k.a Hunky Mouse took me to his house and let me sleep on his sofa. His abiding memory of that night is, apparently, that I said it was so quiet in London! Mine is that he doesn't know I can sleep through two hotel fire alarms (Heathrow ABC conference), hoovering under my bed (my mum), and any and all phone calls even with the phone on Outside Superloud. So, he felt unable to come into his own sitting room and get on with his day. He should have JFDI, whilst I will remain forever guilt-ridden that he didn't!

Guy has always been one of those journos on your 'Must Contact/Tell' list. His tech journalism has been a foundation for many, and he is well-known throughout the hardcore tech circles. Not least for his honest approach to 'telling it how it is' and analysing situations in a way that is undoubtedly uncomfortable for many readers, especially those cited in his articles, though frequently prescient.

Guy has cancer. The prognosis at the moment is difficult, to say the least. Today, he is turning yellow from jaundice and blocked bile ducts. But his personality and character continue to shine through his blog.

I don't think it is wrong to say that I, as one amongst many hundreds if not thousands of others, will miss him. However, the Internet means that Guy is now immortal. His posts and articles are out there, archived forever, and how fantastic that they are.

In the meantime, however, we live in the present. As a freelance, and frequently unpaid to boot, some of us know how hard it is to live on fresh air, which others assume is all that is required for the Guys of this world willing to stick heads above the parapet. However, it is not possible.

There is a fund for Guy and Mary Kewney. For anyone who knows Guy, has read his articles, or can use Google to read those articles, a few quid to buy him a beer and take some of the strain from these last few months may be the best, and least, we can all do.

As a Thank You. (Guy, it's not bloody charity! It's a gratuity.)

And if you want to read some of the thoughts about Guy, you need to head here and read the many memories of others, and contribute. I know from just mentioning Guy's illness at the colloquium that many of us cut our teeth on his articles.

Oh, the song? No, I can't sing......! The Mouse can tho....


fibrelight said...

No doubt there are many of us, perhaps unbeknown to each other, who have been informed and educated by Guy over the years. The news of his illness is terribly sad.
Though the world of journalism will be poorer without him, I for one raise a glass in thanks that he was a part fof it for so long.

Cybersavvy UK said...