**Sat 02 Jan 10**
TWO SAD NOTES AT THE BEGINNING OF 2010
We mark and mourn the passing, after a long smoking-related illness of Jim Hutton. Jim and Freddie were close for many years, of course, and in modern parlance would have been called civil partners. Jim was a quiet and gentle soul, unimpressed and faintly amused by the machinations of Fame, Rock and Roll, and Queen, and so provided Freddie with a refreshingly different view on life. Jim was devoted to gardening, and to breeding the carp which gave Freddie so much pleasure in his pond at Garden Lodge. Our sincere condolences to his sisters and family. RIP Jim.
We also lost another gentle and spiritual soul this week in Shirley Harkins. Shirley was one of the very first people in America to recognise Queen as something important. She worked hard on spreading the word in the early days, and helped to create the caring community that Queen fans became in the USA. I will never forget meeting her for the first time ... she was shaking so much she could not drink her tea ! She truly was a believer. But in life in general she was a brave soul, championing many charitable causes and acting as a beacon for Christian ethics. Sadly missed - our condolences to her family and network of devoted friends. RIP Shirley.