In 2003, we were on a cheapy holiday in Crete when we met a couple, Kel and Mandy, for the first time. It turned out they lived in Bassaleg, the next village to ours. Ever since we've been been best friends, seeing each other two or three times a month and even going on subsequent holidays together.
Just over a week ago, Kel's father died suddenly after being bed bound for about 3 years after a stroke. I always remember his dad, Vince, as Kel and I used to go for a pint in the Friendly Fox, Bassaleg. His father would be dropped off and later picked up at 11 pm by Kel's mum, who would wait in the car park. Vince and his mates would bring their own nibbles (cheese & crackers, etc) and sit in the corner of the pub for a couple of hours playing cards, every night, until Vince had his stroke.
Vince's funeral was today in Rhiwderin Church, followed by a burial at Bassaleg cemetry. I'd never been to this small cemetery before, but on walking in I saw a headstone of someone I knew. Raymond Noel Osborn. I knew he'd died quite a few years ago (8 July 1990) but the funeral was over before I found out. (Before the internet!) This was some 24 years ago, he was aged 56 years (my age now) and he died of a heart attack.
He was a huge burly Sergeant and even the bosses were afraid of him. For some reason we hit it off, which was just as well, as the other sergeant didn't like me. Cutting a long story short, Ray kept me in the job after I had problems with this other sergeant.
He was quite a character, and I remember he lent me his car to date a girl from Llantrisant, as I used to run or catches buses all the time in those days. Just strange I should see his grave, which is yards from where Vince will be buried.
The blip photo is of a gutter where oil has mixed with water. A day of mixed emotions.