Tuesday 2 August 2011


A couple of years back, before The Cat's Mother and I were an item I was invited along to a fabulous party she had organised to celebrate her birthday. It was held in the garden under a glorious marquee, the disco played and the wine and champagne flowed all night. It was glitzy and glamorous and I new practically no one. But I do remember a very drunk man singing and dancing and celebrating louder and more wildly than anyone else there.

As The Cat's Mother and I grew closer and I became part of the wider circle of friends, I was re-introduced to this man. He was a character, a man who lived life to the full and treasured every moment. For him every moment of life was to be enjoyed to the max. A glass half full kind of person. A person who could bring a smile to everyone's faces through a quick quip or a jaunty jibe. Not a bad bone in him. He burnt the candle at both ends and in the middle as well.

He was part of our group which went off to Russia, and led the celebrations on our sleeper train late into the night, early into the morning. He was one of two that went in search of a kebab along the rest of the train, and was literally kicked down the corridor by a small blond female trainguard who probably spent her spare time throwing the hammer. And sickle. Fortunately there was enough of us that we had the carriage to ourselves and didn't disturb another soul. You may pick him out in the picture above. When we left another female trainguard who in her spare time clearly throws the discus said (phonetically) 'Shobar' which became the 'word of the holiday' even after our tour guide told us it's meaning and we had to hang our heads in shame. Later on that holiday, at the Space Museum and afterwards, he kept us more than entertained with impressions of dogs hanging their heads out of the windows of cars with the wind blowing their ears as they traveled to the space centre to be blasted into space.

Earlier this year, he danced 'til dawn at our New Year celebration, and kept the men in the winning position for the 'hat game' (you know where names go on pieces of paper in a hat and when pulled out you have to give clues...it's known by a million different names) against the cheating women. And again at UP's amazing birthday celebrations he didn't hold back in helping things go with a swing.

It may be just that he knew his time was limited because he'd grown up with a rare illness, one that gradually ate him up from the inside, that he made the most of his time. Or it may be that he was just someone who knew how to enjoy himself and bring a smile to those around him. This year, he went rapidly down hill, but that didn't stop the humour until yesterday when it stopped. Full stop. He wasn't yet 50.

I bet heaven is a riot today.