Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Simon H Johnson

I was in Prague when I heard the terrible news that Simon had died.  It was a shock.  It always is when someone you know goes and getting older as I am, it happens with monotonous regularity. But Simon wasn't old and that makes it worse in so many ways.  We all know that I think. 

A couple of years ago, Simon sent me a message.  He was coming to Manchester and would I meet him and show him round?   I intended only to stay for a little while, but of course that lasted a lot longer than planned and I tottered off home while Simon, heading for the station, thought he'd check out the Port St Beer House.  Or did I go with him?  You see what I mean?

I last saw him by arrangement a summer ago, in the Euston Tap, but this time I was saved by my train.  He was good company as so many say and hard to get away from in the best possible way.  His infectious enthusiasm will be missed, as will his lack of pretension about beer, though maybe the merkin won't be!  He was indeed a reluctant scooper, but in his own way, he was one nonetheless, but he never forgot that beer is best when enjoyed in good company, rather than as a status symbol or a notch on the bar.

He (somewhat surprisingly) sent me a direct tweet last year asking me if he could have an opinion from me about whether he was "being an arse" over something or other. I agreed of course, but then he then later said there was no need.  I have no idea what is was and now never will. It was a bit of an odd incident, but there you go. I am glad he asked me, even if it came to nothing.

He was a good lad and you can't say fairer than that.  He'll be missed.

I don't half look a tit in these socks. Hope he's grinning about that somewhere.


Curmudgeon said...

Never met him, but it's always a shock to the system when someone you "know" via the Internet and who is younger than you passes away.

He was a great iconoclast, and I liked his honesty than in some company he was happy to drink Stella.

Erlangernick said...

I spent a splendid afternoon with him at the Nottingham beer fest in October. I can't recall what all we bantered about, but it wasn't all beer & twittivia. It was an entertaining time, though, hopefully for him as much as it was for me.

I didn't know that Nottingham was his home town, so it was nice to get some pointers about the place.

No merkin though. Actually, I didn't know what a merkin was before seeing his in action vicariously.