Well the fact is that Mr D and I have a week off. After today we're going to be heading off on some travels for a few days, on Wednesday up to the midlands to stay in a nice country manor hotel until the weekend.
But tomorrow, we have a big day coming up. It's going to be a long day, (a 500-mile round trip) but that's not important, it's going to be a rollercoaster of emotions, and I fully expect to be a sobbing mess at the end of the day!
Some of you may remember that a couple of years back, I put up a post HERE to celebrate the life of Steve. Steve is an old railway mucker of Mr D's who I've also got to know very well and love very much. As I said in my post, he's lived with cancer for over ten years, but in recent months, things have moved on - and not in a good way - and now Steve has made peace with the fact that he's very much facing the final curtain.
Steve was a railwayman all his working life. He's as much a part of the railway as tea and curly sandwiches, and he knows, as well as anyone who has been connected with that industry, that it's more than just a workplace, it's a communiity.
Steve knows that his funeral would be a huge affair, inundated with railway friends from far and wide, and he doesn't want to put his family through all the stress of having to arrange an event like that. So tomorrow, Steve is having a 'living wake', a chance for us to all get together one final time, and celebrate our friendship while he's still here to enjoy it. Then he can be secure in the knowledge that his funeral will be a small, private affair, with just his nearest and dearest. Currently, Steve has said he can manage about 2 - 3 hours of alertness before his body starts to give up, so we need to make the most of that time.
Steve is a great guy with a weird and wonderful sense of humour that won't quit. We all got to know each other through a Fantasy Cricket League that he ran for many years, called 'Mister Slater's Parrot', and we know that many of the Parrotettes are going to be there, so, I found this guy on Amazon, who just absolutely HAS to come with us ...
We will all make sure that the final reunion of the Mister Slater's Parrot Alumni is going to be a blast for Steve; he's going to go out on a high, we'll all see to that.
As Mr D said (and with sincere apologies to King Theoden), "If this is to be the Parrot's end, then we will make it such an end as to be worthy of remembrance!!"
And I know Steve would approve!