For Steve Watkins 1965-2019

by Jonathan Lorie

I’m raising a glass for you tonight amigo
A glass of our Pedro Ximenez

Dawn in the Atlas mountains
You shooting the moon with a DSLR
The dust of four continents burnt on your boots

Breakfast in Antonio’s bar
You flashing a joke in Spanish
As the Mezquita bells tolled out their years

Midday at Zennor
You scrambling across the granite cliffs
To show a student the perfect shot

Teatime at the RGS
You introducing a hero of yours
To a theatre filled with fans

Sunset on the Bosphorous
You pouring another raqi
As we figured out the way ahead

Dinner at the Frontline Club
You weeping over a poem I wrote
About the toys of childhood

Midnight in the Jema
You telling me about the girl
You hoped to find some day

And a summer morning in Sussex
When I read a verse at your wedding
To the woman we met together

And now it is another kind of night
But what a day we shared

I’m raising a glass amigo
Because tonight I heard the news


These places are where you belonged
And no one now will remember them
As I do you

Steve Watkins was my star tutor in travel photography at Travellers’ Tales. Together we led courses in all those places, and shared what we knew of travel, creativity and life, with many wonderful students and with each other. Here we are in Marrakech, where he did indeed meet his wife Sarah. Some people are not replaceable. Tributes can be posted here.