Always a welcome behind this door. I knew where to find tea bags and kettle There would be hot food, wine, banter, fierce debate and fresh sheets on a warm bed for me to lie in. Ties of blood, spirit and love brought me here to festivals, protests, celebrations, family gatherings and my dear friend's funeral. Here I said a final farewell to you before you followed her into the unknown. We were loud in the pub after the solemnity of your Requiem 'Let's not have a snivel, let's have a bloody good cry we sang and we did cry and some of us got drunk, which was normal. The era has ended and now the door is closed to me though a golden light still shines in the window. My heart aches, heavy with memories of days spent in your lovely Edinburgh home. Norah Hanson End of an era is due to be published by Valley Press later this year.