At 8.00 AM on Saturday the 8th October I crawled out of bed to watch the first half of the 1/4 final match between England and France. By half time it was virtually all over. The French were all over us.
It was the end of our rugby team’s road.
Or was it? Someone has to lose. And in any case there’ll be another day.
At 10.00 AM I reached in my wallet for my debit card to pay for a Saturday morning grocery shop to find the card wasn’t there. So, out of the window went my plans not only to buy bread, but also to say farewell to Colin Doyle, friend and ex boss, whose funeral was at noon in Warrington, an hour’s drive away.
Was it the end of my road?
No, for with cash borrowed from my generous step daughter I managed to get to the crematorium in time for some of the eulogies, and to pay my respects (and pay for the bread – can you believe it now costs £120 a loaf?).
Dear Colin. Haven’t seen him for 31 years, and now he’s gone. Was it the end of his road?
We were reminded by the chap leading the ceremony that (at the very least) one lives on through the happy memories we have.
At best, of course, one lives on in a heaven that has countless rooms.
Whichever is true, Colin is a survivor.
Mine is a memory of man blessed with indefatigable enthusiasm.
I also remember clearly how in an age of anti royalists he always addressed the Queen’s Mother as “Mum”.
I don’t think that this will be the end of Colin’s road.
His kind of energy can’t be so easily extinguished.
Why, as I write he’ll probably be persuading heaven’s maître d’hôtel that he ought to be sat opposite the Queen Mother for dinner tonight.
I append a song by Bert Jansch, who passed away last week, who will possibly be providing the entertainment for the dinner party.
God bless you Colin Doyle.
I’m inclined to say that only the good die young.