The House that Danny Built

We lost our friend Danny this week and we are all heartbroken.

Robert designed his house but Danny built it in his own unique style. Going there was a delight because you couldn’t come away in a bad humour after an hour of stories and laughter, tea and reminiscences. Gill’s lively sense of the absurd mingled with snippets of poetry, stories of Danny’s time in English theatre companies, and classical music always playing in the background. He built himself a tiny sunny workshop and it was here we always found him when we arrived, sawing and drilling and painting. Tables, trays, boxes, chests, mirrors, frames, shelves and shoe racks – even a harp emerged from that cramped space, all painted his signature green and finished in Mondrian-inspired designs. And in between the tools were dotted the eclectic and quirky finds that captured his, or Gill’s, fancy, or works by one of their daughters or grandchildren.

What follows is a photo-essay, an attempt to capture the bundle of creativity and idiosyncrasy, colour, humour and intelligence that was Danny, from images taken mainly in his workshop but also outside the house.

Rest in peace, old friend.

19 thoughts

  1. A moving series of images, Finola, that poignantly capture the feel of Danny and Gill’s home and surroundings. Lovely!

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  2. Read your piece about Danny. I really ought to get out more. He seems to have been a lovely man and I wish I had been aware of him! Too late!!! Any other oldies out there who read the obits in the Guardian and realise what they’ve been missing?

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  3. This is such a warm and heartfelt post; the photos speak volumes of the man Danny was and his special place in your lives. How fortunate to have known him but how tough to be without him.

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  4. There’s unique sadness attaching to the death of a friend, I think. After all, true friends choose each other freely and build on that foundation through the years. So many memories, then the sad realization that never again will you say- “Danny will enjoy this one”. Your joint tribute to him is beautiful- he’d really appreciate it I’m sure and his family certainly will. Thank you.

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  5. It looks like he has left a living tribute to his life in his works and his environment. I hope other hands will pick up his brushes and tools and find their own voices. Thank you for sharing. As long as memories are breathed so do the beloved.

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  6. I am so sorry to learn about your loss of this obviously wonderful, unique human being and friend~ I have never commented here before but so enjoy and look forward to all your posts whatever the subject matter and the photos are beautiful and evocative . This is a lovely and wonderful visual tribute and offers real insight into at least a part of the man Danny was. My heart and thoughts go out to you and his family and /or friends that knew and loved him.

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