When it became obvious how ill he was in those dreadful early weeks of 2014, he rewrote it, but its completion was delayed by a quibble with the lawyers over a particular clause and he died the night before he was due to sign it.
Until that point, intestacy was not even a word in my vocabulary, but I discovered its full meaning only too quickly after Robin’s death.
Our two businesses shared a blue dutch barn, built to Robin’s specifications – his upstairs and mine down. He managed our money and it never occurred to me that all our practical arrangements were not entirely in order.
Like many wives, I simply left such matters to him.
Our priority after our marriage should have been to put our legal affairs in order but, busy as our lives were, this was too easy to overlook. Unconditional love was our talisman – and we failed to face our mortality.
During the weeks of his illness, Robin had been open with his family about what he wished to put in his will, and we knew there were some who wanted more and were not managing their expectations well.
At the time I wrote (in YOU), ‘Finding the love of your life in the autumn of your life is a strange and humbling experience.’ It was also exhilarating, and a handful.
We had three grown-up sons each – six between us – and five grandchildren, but neither of us could imagine life without the other, so we lived together for the next 20 wonderful years.
We cannot control the way we die but we can try to manage it, as we have to manage life if we are the one left behind.
It was not until 1993 that we met again by chance at an art exhibition.
We fell for each other immediately, dangerously, passionately. We were in our 50s, divorced from previous partners, single and not looking for anything more – but this was an electric, love-at-second-sight moment that was transformative for both of us.
to study for a master’s in literature at the University of Essex, and in the same year I started a business called Country Roses, growing exquisite scented cut roses for special occasions, selling to local families, brides, event organisers and loyal royals.
We wanted to put something back into the land we loved so much.