Talk by JOHN FITZIMMONS
When I look out at so many people who have come to honour our dear friend James. I feel extremely privileged that Jenny Higgo has asked me to speak. This is also a responsibility, which I take very seriously, as I never thought I would be doing this.
I first met James 13 Years ago and after being introduced he began bouncing a rubber ball attached to a long length of elastic at me and generally trying to OUT STARE me. I think he was probably testing me for weakness. Unfazed I stood James's apparent lunacy. I thought James was diffident, bizarrely dressed, unusual and interesting. We quickly became firm friends and remained so. James was one of my closest friends.
When I heard the tragic news my reaction was total disbelief; James always seemed so capable, self reliant and invincible, it was very hard to accept. James lived his life for the here and now and always enjoyed himself. "How are you James", "MIGHTY FINE" was the answer, EXTREMELY WELL!!" Never just O.K. or not bad. "THESE ARE THE DAYS he would say".
No time for watching T.V or sitting around. Always active, always doing something. At a summer wedding I once remarked to James that every day should be like this. His instant reply was Everyday is like this. Such was stance and approach to life, a good example to us all.!
James' passions included:
Sky diving, Under water diving, Tobogganing, Motorcycling, Constant travel; he once told me he had visited 40% of the World's countries.
And more recently flying.
The man had a love and great understanding of all things technical. He was always a first with computers and mobile telephones. Once over 10 Years ago a group of us were sitting around in a garden when there was a sound of a telephone ringing nearby. Amazed at this alien sound we all looked around to see James's hand reach deep inside a loud tweed jacket to produce something resembling a small washing machine and barking into it "HIGGO"
From an early age James was networking and programming various computers for himself plus businesses while still here at school. Always happy to help his friends with their PCs until excessive demand was being made for his unpaid skills:
THE HIGGO HELP DESK IS NOW CLOSED was the new message.
James loved to keep up with his legions of friends old and new never - losing touch. He was generous and kind, always happy to give help and advice and to come to the aid of those in need. Always direct, often blunt but with the unique ability to make life's problems seem to evaporate.
Recently he had roamed further afield and set up his 1st estate; the pretty cottage near Stilton in Cambridgeshire which his friends teasingly referred to as Higgo Hall. Time spent there was never dull. James demanded that guests play badminton, Chinese Poker and Croquet:- which he always always sought to win.
James second estate was the (potentially) more illustrious Chateau Higgo a former school in Perigord, Bordeaux. He had big plans for huge summer parties and doubtless would have spent many years developing this latest project. I feel that Perigord will be a duller place.
James did more in his short life than most people could do with two lives.
His fertile mind had over the last few years turned to the questions of life, space and time and the possibility of parallel Universes. He wrote papers on these matters challenging areas of established wisdom in quantum physics. He believed we were all immortal. I will not pretend to know what he was going on about but he had the interest and backing of many leading intellectuals for his new ideas.
I think of James having entered a New Universe to begin a new and big adventure.
My thoughts are with those who will miss James most,
Jenny: beloved mother to loyal and doting son.
David: who thought the world of his big brother.
Imogen: who loves James endlessly.
"Goodbye old Pal I will miss you".