Fuck the world

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Apologies for the sweary, negative title but I heard late last night that my good old friend, the creative director Pat Richer, has been taken from us. He was brutally murdered in Nairobi by a gang of evil arseholes who broke into his house to burgle it. The life of a talented, passionate, kind-hearted creative one-off taken for a telly, a mobile phone and a couple of laptops. For fuck’s sake. When I got the news from another old friend, Pat’s old partner Dennis Koutoulogenis, I wanted to bash my head against a wall at the sheer senselessness of it. The idiotic pointlessness, the grim fucked-upness.

As I sat up late last night drinking scotch and swapping emails with mutual friends, I thought back to the days when I was a young copywriter at VCD Sydney. We were intensely focused and lived for work; at the time it had sometimes seemed tough and confusing, but Pat’s massive heart, relentless energy and daft sense of humour had often kept us going. Working with him and Matt Sherring on ads for the Canterbury Bulldogs was always a proper laugh, even when it was past midnight, we hadn’t cracked the brief yet and the presentation was in the morning. Pat loved life, loved his job and loved to live in the moment. Working sessions could turn into all-night piss-ups and not a day went by when he didn’t invent some mental new insult for me along the lines of “You useless lightweight English babe repellent softcock loser.”  Matt summed him up perfectly: “He was like a young puppy who was so mischievous but you just had to love him.” It’s only in retrospect that I realise these were some of the happiest days of my life.

I returned to London in 1997 and Pat came to visit me a couple of times before he went off on his African adventure. He spent almost 10 years over there and, sadly, I was hardly in touch with him at all over the last decade. And now the stupidity of losing touch with him is coming home to me. I wish I’d reached out to him; now it’s too late.

Although these days I think of myself as a positive person, today I feel low, angry, powerless. So sad to live in a world where people are driven by the circumstances of their lives and the darkness in their hearts to commit such vile, inhuman crimes. I think about the paltry amount of booze or drugs those ten murderers are going to buy for themselves once they’ve shared out the blood money from the robbery between them. Pathetic.

I’m sorry for all the negativity. I know with time the dark cloud will pass but right now the shitiness and random evil of it just seems to negate all the love in the world. For now, the best I can do is to say, Goodbye Pat. I’ll really miss you, mate. You made some big hits and crunching tackles. Now it’s time for bed. And to remember these lines from Philip Larkin’s poem, The Mower: “The first day after a death/the new absence/Is always the same/We should be careful of each other, we should be kind/While there is still time.”

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About antmelder
Creative Partner at DDB Sydney; passionate vegetarian; lover of books, boxing and Bruce Springsteen.

2 Responses to Fuck the world

  1. Rob Hatfield says:

    Very, very sorry for your loss.

  2. antmelder says:

    Thanks Rob, I appreciate that.

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