My thank you to those who helped Max in the last weeks.
It will be no surprise to many to know now that this humble Vole was very honoured to have Peter Maxwell Davies as part of his life for many, many years. We were lovers long ago, and then in the last few years of his life, we acted as family for each other, latterly as his next-of-kin.
Indeed, he featured in the cast of ‘Vole’characters as Great Uncle Cedric – little Sweyn is devastated but being very brave.
I am writing this sitting at the desk he had in Bunnertoon and now is in Sanday.
This is a time for thanking the people who made the last few weeks of Max’s life as wonderful they could be. So many people, the magnificent staff in the MacMillan in Kirkwall – their ability to be focused and provide magnificent care is inspiring. The medical team in Sanday rose to the challenge of caring for us and doing everything they could – their responses to us could not have been more immediate if we had been in a hospital ward.
And above all the neighbours and family here on Sanday – Liz and Chris, Joanna and Geoff, the Simpson brothers and all the Broons. They made sure I was never alone – people in the house day and night with me for over a week.
Max had a wonderful life – dreadful things happened to him of course – but he died knowing that his work was loved and would continue – he also felt that he had finished what he had to do. He was where he wanted to be and with the people he wanted to be with. As he said, ‘what could have been better!’ Sanday was his home, the place he loved more than any other and where the community united to protect him and look after him. This is where he is buried and where he is going to stay.
He said to me, his last conversation about music, that the piece he was then working on was about changing identity, the music vanishes and becomes like something else, the point of a nose. The work is not unfinished, it has become what had it to be. He was excited about this – ‘no one have ever done anything like this before.’
And now he is that something else, he is the music now, my love, my hero.
Someone sent me the clip of Farewell to Stromness and Lullaby to Lucy being played in the cathedral at the time that the funeral began here on Sanday. Thank you. Here it is.