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Kate was such a joy. We went to the Hay Festival, to Bruges, to Paris, to Cornwall, to poetry festivals and exhibitions, Akram Khan and Matthew Bourne's dance companies, watch small theatre productions, and so much more. We got lost, fell into scrapes and laughed a lot. On one car trip back from Devon we sang at the top of our voices. And we talked, told stories, cried and supported each other.

I liked Kate's writing, perhaps more than she did herself - she had so many doubts, a thin skin under the confidence. She wrote about artists and dancers and writers, imagining their lives and their loves. Later she wrote about herself as a child, the hard, scary times she'd had. She told the stories in amazing images, and she left anyone who read her work to feel out what she might have experienced.

Kate was there when I got the news about Benn's death. I was there when she began to lose control over her life. I worried about her and we tried to talk about it all, but it wasn't easy. She didn't turn up for events we'd arranged; she was anxious and angry.

It's so hard to know what to say. It's so tempting to say 'I forget things all the time', and try to ignore that this is worse than everyday forgetting.

I understand it so much more now.

Friends, family are so vital. They can treat you as they have for so many years, without that sad, concerned tone that sets them further away.

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