Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Dan.

On Monday morning, I was shocked into the day with news that my cousin couldn't be woken.

Dan's been suffering with MS for a couple of years, and there is not a soul on earth who hasn't been shocked by the aggressive nature of it.

By the end of the day, Dan was gone.

It's only right that I recall great times with the little pothead, that I have been proud to call my cousin for thirty three years.

I see Dan grinning his toothy smile as a young teenager, with a white Dunlop t-shirt, smeared in strawberry juice from the farm where we had been picking.

I hear Dan's fantastically loud infectious laugh.

Hours of inane MSN messenger chatter.

I see him grinning, with a joystick in his hand, playing SSX on the playstation. Concentrating on busting moves. I'd driven down to Leicester to drop off some dope.

I remember the family shock when Dan burned a huge pile of hay in a farmer's field in Johnshaven, Scotland.

When I learned to ride a bike - it was Dan's bike. A purple Raleigh Budgie, with fat tyres, and easy rider handlebars.

On the subject of bikes - Dan rode his into the corner of a house!!

Arbroath in Scotland, the amusements (the "switchies" as they were known). We all loved to go there. The "king kong" machine in Montrose. The sand dunes.

I walked the sandy beach at low tide with Dan at St. Cyrus in Scotland. We smoked a spliff, and walked and talked. I can still see the ripples on the sand, and the wooden boards that led there. I don't remember what we talked about, but I know it rained.

The memories are choking in my throat and in my eyes.

I had a great affinity with Dan, we had many things in common. He was the most mild mannered, placid chap you would ever meet, and in a lot of ways I find that inspirational. I always had time for him, and don't ever recall us having a bad word.

I know we have some old Super 8 films, from those heady childhood days where we played in the sun. When the time is right, I promise myself to dig them out.

For now, my cousin, my friend..... simply....

GRATITUDE!

2 comments:

  1. Dan melted his wellies in his mad dash to escape those blazing bales! And what about all those times he peed on the paraffin heater in the bathroom.... purely experimental to see how quickly urine would evaporate in various contexts...a Fair Test of course!

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  2. I posted about sliding down the hill at Uffington - a mad, helter-skelter, rapid-fire, zomg-we're-going-to-die-on-the-road-below experience. And speaking of hay, I've been thinking about the time we made a small haystack (hay hummock?) outside the cottage in Johnshaven, running and bouncing off it with Tom till we all got bored and sat in it. Driving with friends and sharing a spliff in the backseat en route to Arbroath for no particular reason, and my favourite, most recent memory...9 yrs ago...driving to Stonehenge with the 2 Alexes, making an abrupt right turn into a hilly field and driving halfway up so Dan could go flying out of the car and dance to 'Samba de Janeiro' on radio 1.

    All together, now, in a spirit of grand, cheeky mischief: "Ah killed a man/in stripey pants/b-b-b-baybeh!"

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