Hello boys and girls
As I write this I am in between Ireland and Scotland slightly dazed and confused because of the excesses of the last night with the brothers and sisters in Ireland and looking forward to being more dazed and confused when we meet up with the Scottish ones in a few hours time.
These trips away or when the they come to our neck of the woods are one of life’s great riches. Friendships like these keep us going through thick and thin, knowing that there is always someone out there who has got your back, a beer in the fridge or that bloody oil filter wrench that you will buy one day, if you really have to. Last night I was with guys who I haven’t seen in years, but who are still as closer to me than most of my family. These guys are probably the one constant in my life. I have known some of them more than 30 years, longer than I have lived in any one place by a long way, in fact apart from parents and siblings the only thing that has been more constant in my life is motorcycles.
Unfortunately nothing in the world is forever, and the worst days of my life are those when I have found out that I have lost a brother or sister. The realization dawns that you will never again share a beer with them, pull the piss out of them or tell them in a drunken state that you love them…”and I really mean it man, no bullshit, TRUST ME!” The pit that opens up in your stomach, the little hole left in your life, the knowledge of what you were doing and where you were doing it when you heard the news is etched into your memory forever.
Luckily time heals, the sadness remains but the pain recedes and is replaced with memories of good times, stupid times, moments shared the days when you were kings and queens of the world. In the states you have Memorial Day, over here in Europe it is Remembrance Day on the 11th of November and I and the rest of my idiot mates have the 1st of August. Known to us few as Charlie’s day it is the day when our brother had an argument with a bus and lost. He was the first of us to go and since then there have been too many disappear from our lives. Edgar who was Rambo before Rambo was, Derek the poser, Big Tim (not an Ironic name, he was bloody huge), Old Doug who was old, surprisingly enough, JP, Mr. Fensome…There are too many, and that makes me sad, but they were mates and the memories make me happy.
So on August 1st if you want, raise a glass to those friends who are no longer with us, tell stories and share memories and salute them with the time honored cry to the heavens…”It’s your round”