Intermission: Wednesday 7th August 2002

Mike had always hated steep ascents first thing in the morning, so much so that at one point we were supposed to slog on for an extra hour at the end of the day to avoid a sharp bit of up just after breakfast. therefore I was still entertaining the fantasy of stumbling into a pub and seeing Mike sitting in the corner with his rueful grin saying “Sorry chaps, it was mean trick, but I just had to do anything to avoid those early climbs”. Seeing the flag-draped coffin put paid to that.

Scrubbed, suited and booted, Keith had pointed the Saab south down the M1 and set the cruise control. After a poignently quiet drive we arrived in Towcester. The house was heaving with people who had come to pay their respects to Janette and his daughters. We were warmly greeted and many conversations along the line of “carry on it’s what he would have wanted” and “Do it for Michael ensued”. Jacqui and John who like Keith and I met Mike at Kindrogan (a story for another day) were there, as were many tough looking men in suits. The service in the Church was, frankly unbearable, especially when, Mike having been a Serviceman, they played the Last Post. Afterwards more chats with Mike’s friends and relatives; Mike was to be interred the following day in his hometown of Newcastle, after a final flight courtesy of the RAF.
The journey back North was as pensive as the drive down.

~ by @mmonyte on August 15, 2006.

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