I’m writing this to you even though you are not here to read it any more.
I never told you all this when you were alive, but really should have.
You were one of the smartest, hardest working, most honest and funniest people I have ever known. We worked together for 6 years had a lot of fun, success, and adventures along the way (the ‘Fab Four’ visit to India with JT and JB comes to mind, which we managed to pretend was a business trip for at least some of the time – pic below), as well as plenty of shared frustration and disappointment. Whenever something untoward was happening at work, my Email, Text, or WhatsApp would light up with wisecracks from you making fun of the situation, which would always cheer me up. I particularly enjoyed the silly pictures and comments attached, or the video clips. I think the one from Yes Minister about ‘how to handle a crisis’ was perhaps my all-time favourite – I am laughing remembering as I type this.
As well as being the consummate professional, who was very, very good at his job and widely respected for this (as Andy has already well summarised in his own tribute), you never took yourself or the world too seriously, and always had time to talk to people, with a real curiosity and interest in what was going on. Sometimes your love of gossip (or ‘intel’ as you would tell me to refer to it) could get the better of you – an ExCo member once told me that ‘if you share a secret with David you might as well spray paint in on the front of our office’. 😊
Your teams all had huge affection for you, and it was obvious how much your family meant to you. I remember long conversations, as my kids are quite a bit older that yours, about how to best raise them, including when they should stop coming on family holidays, who should pay for weddings, etc! I had always thought I should invite you and your family round for dinner or a BBQ – thinking your children might enjoy meeting our goats, chickens and dogs. But stupidly I never got round to it, which I shall always now regret.
I cannot begin to explain how much I’m going to miss you. So I can only try to imagine how your wife, children and wider family must be feeling. I’m just glad we managed to have so many laughs together.
And I will never forget you.