When I got to know Simon in the early and mid 80s, he and Liduina were living in Burnham, in the south of England. Whenever I had to confer with my tutor at Reading University I would spend one or two nights there and we would chat, have dinner and a drink (or two). I remember one evening Simon giving me a tour of the haunts and watering holes (there were a few of those) where he used to hang as a teenager. I have fond memories of those Burnham visits, and an anecdote or two to tell!.
It soon became apparent to me that Simon was not what you would call conventional. His creative streak was glaringly obvious (as testified by the various modelled objects in the yard and garage), and this streak reflected his mind, as from his remarks and interjections it transpired that he looked at life from a totally different angle - "out of the box" in today's jargon. In one conversation, we agreed that he was probably the reincarnation of a druid - which became a sort of running joke, but I believe it would explain much, including his love of and commitment to Aikido (with its intrinsic spirituality and rituals), his indifference to a "bourgeois" way of life (though he would not have used that term), and all things "magical" (including Apple products!). You might say that Simon lived *in* this society but was not *of* this society.
Yet throughout the ups and downs of his life (there were a few of those, too), he always remained optimistic and true to himself, drawing fulfillment from personal relationships, his family, his sport, helping others with PC issues, rather than from pecuniary gain.
One thing is for sure: there wasn't a malicious thread in him, and if there were more Simons this world would surely be a better place.
I will miss him.
More to the point though: who will now do the filming at our family gatherings?
With much love to Liduina, Tasmin, Maya and Galen,