I was away on work in Eastern European, working longer hours than I am used to, trying desperately to soak in the culture. The blurred news on the TV each night lulled me to sleep, the extreme otherness of the language like some harsh lullabye. The pictures were all to do with local political news - who said what about whom and lots of hand shaking and air waving -not worth keeping my eyes open for.
And so I came back to the news of two deaths: Luciano Pavarotti and Anita Roddick.
Inspriations in my life in different ways, in different times. One for the love of his art, the other for her love of the fairtrade and the environment.
I consider myself immeasurably lucky to have seen Pavarotti perform live in 1998. And even though I understood less than nothing of Opera or the language of that music, the power of his voice took precedence over it all. I was hooked and I wore down a CD of the Three Tenors in the years after. I still don't really understand Opera but that night taught me to appreciate music in a whole new way.
Anita Roddick was one of the funders of an early project I worked on. Her Body Shop products were becoming a household name for being 'not tested on Animals' and 'not using sweatshops anywhere'. She was full of energy and life and passion - her Foundation exuded her beliefs and worked tirelessly to promote anti-violence messages, fairtrade and a generally better world. From humble beginings to a Dame-hood, she showed the world that there was an ethical way to do business.