It's been almost a month since my last post, and for once, I have good reason. I had begun working on a couple of posts, but something important occurred that overshadowed everything else, made me put life on hold for a week, and prevented me from caring about the blog for another week after that.
My grandfather died on May 28th after 94 years of squeezing everything he could out of life.
I was really close with my granddad, even more so than with my actual father. There's a whole history there that I won't disclose here, because it's not all that interesting and because pouring out my pain to strangers on the internet isn't why I started blogging.
Suffice it to say that he was a great man and I'll miss him terribly. He fought in WWII, was injured three times while there, returning to the front to fight alongside his mates each time. He didn't talk much about his experiences there, but when lubricated with a little whiskey or beer, the tales would flow.
However, he was a lot more than a mere Bren machine gunner, helping to bring a halt to the Nazi menace in Europe. He was a fighter and a charmer at the same time, and although he was incredibly opinionated, he was always surrounded by friends and family. He could remember the name of somebody that he'd met once ten years previously, and wherever he went he always ran into one or two people to have a friendly chat with.
He was a hard worker, and played hard as well. He was always ready and available to help any friends or family members that needed assistance. He was always busy, but always made time for people. He was happiest when having a beer, offering up some anecdote about the past to those around him.
I'm not going to recreate the goodbye that I read out at his funeral, despite the fact that my wife says that I should put it up here. Maybe someday, but not today.
I just wanted to say my grandfather was my hero, and I miss him. The gates of Valhalla opened up a couple of weeks ago to welcomed the arrival of a Celtic warrior.