an old priest (3) my kind of priest

I cannot remember whether it was before or after our trip that he was suddenly left a huge sum by his sister. He spent some on an air-conditioned BMW, his and the only worldly possession that he had ever longed for. He also threw a magnificent 80th birthday party, hiring a hall in Chelsea, flying in friends from all over the world and us all drunk with champagne.

He had planned to hire the Banqueting House in Whitehall for his 90th birthday next year. I was really looking to going there. He was my of priest, and the boys all adored him - particularly the youngest. We went to his funeral at Westminster Cathedral on Friday, the six of us. It may sound a little strange, but it was a surprisingly happy occasion - of priests and nuns, and the new Cardinal, all envying Edward for getting to Heaven before them.

I was at first by how messy the boys looked - particularly the youngest, whose only shoes are a pair of sneakers, which seemed suitable. But nobody to mind. Only when one of the readers broke down in tears did I feel how bitterly sad this is for those who are left behind.

Damn. I have hardly left room for the of this column. I promised at the funeral to find a home for Frankie, the Monsignor's 16-year-old Siamese cat - a and mean animal, but much loved by his master. Offers, please, quickly, because he will be put down at the weekend.