Three years ago today I bought my present car. I had the day off work because I had been intending to walk in the Edinburgh Kiltwalk the previous day but pulled out because of injury. But the day off was booked so why cancel it. We’d gone out on the Sunday to look at cars not intending to buy one but found one that seemed to be perfect so made arrangements to set the finance in place. The following day it would be mine But that didn’t go smoothly and I spent most of the day thinking it wasn’t going to happen. The salesman was having problems sorting the finance due to my, at the time, low credit rating. So I was sat waiting by the phone most of the early part of the day – waiting.
And then came the call I wasn’t expecting. To be honest I was expecting it sometime but not that day. Not when I was waiting to buy a car of all things! But that was the sort of thing that would have tickled him. He had an irreverent sense of humour and was a bit of a petrol-head. Oh yeah the call. My good friend of many years had died. He had been ill for some time. Not a long time but very ill. He had stomach cancer. Aggressive stomach cancer. He was 34.
He was a friend who I “buddied” when he started at the company we worked for. A guy who I drank with after work, as a group, on a Friday. Never excessively as, eventually once he passed his test, we both had to drive home. A guy whose small wedding of less than 20 people I attended. A guy who was, almost, as sarcastic and irreverent as me. Someone I could send texts with pictures of doughnuts, bridies, sweets etc when he was unable to eat due to terminal stomach cancer. A friend who would have done the same for me.
True there were about 20 years between us but it never felt like there was a gap. So tonight we’ll go out and raise a glass. Not that “cider with ice” drink that I used to mock you for but something worse. Something alcohol free!!! Catch you later mate.