Kate Petty’s party
Kate’s triumphant finale – illustrated by Jennie Maizels
To the Canal Museum behind King’s Cross for Kate Petty’s last party. There are some blown-up pictures of Kate in her hippy chick days when she was already one of the most attractive girls at Bedales, at the top of the class for her wit, and for her amazing ability to get A grades in all subjects without compromising in any way her love of a good dance. Kate was amazingly popular without ever saying a mean word about anyone. Nor have I ever heard anyone say a mean word about her.
She died when I was in France. I missed the funeral which was in Cornwall. Kate and Mike moved there to devote themselves to the Eden Project. Kate was already sick although she worked ferociously on a children’s list for Eden that has been been rapturously received.
It was an inspired choice of venue. The Canal Museum is one of the great tucked-away places in London and an agreeable place to have a thrash. The mood is good, although we all have a little tear for Katie. Fear is also a feature of these occasions, as the beating reaper grows closer.
Mike has decided to raise money for Cornwall Hospice Care where they had taken such good care of Katie and there was an auction at which I am happy to say I became the owner of a signed first edition of Philip Pullman’s Lyra’s Oxford. I have a great deal of time for Pullman and the character of Lyra. Now I consider it, there are parallels between the characters of Lyra and Kate.
Kate lived a big life after leaving school.
Julia Eccleshare’s beautiful and touching obituary of Kate in the Guardian is here.