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Grey Cavalier: 2012's final role model


It seemed unlikely that the last break-out star of 2012 would turn out to be a 92-year-old great-grandfather. Yet nonagenarian George White's blog proved catnip to the twittersphere this weekend, with links to his blog tweeted thick and fast and from all corners of the globe. And duly so – it's a lovely read. Called the Grey Cavalier, it details the new turn White's life has taken since losing, Mima, his wife of 60 years in November 2011. So we read of George's Christmas spent with the grandchildren; George getting his first passport; George taking his first aeroplane flight since 1941; George ascending the Eiger mountain – or at least part of it – in Switzerland.

I think it's safe to imagine his grandson helps out on the technical side, but the sentiment is clearly his – each post is filled with pathos, with little vignettes of his former life breaking into the day's commentary. Unsurprisingly, it's hard to process far without having to choke back tears, which perhaps explains its popularity.

The comment sections have become self-contained little shrines, with people sharing their own tales of life without loved ones and explaining, in little bursts of kindness, how they got through it.

"Inspirational" is an overused word – but for the Grey Cavalier, it seems remarkably accurate.