Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Got word today that an old co-worker of mine passed away. Old in this case being 87 years which means he retired 22 years ago. Hardly seems possible. Anyway, Donald Hardiman was his name and he was the Laboratory Manager in a previous version of the salt mines. A pretty funny guy, he was always pretty taken with the picture of Ivy that I’d taken in Leeds that was at the top RH corner of my board in the drawing office. He was a character. Remember those? We don’t have many of those anymore and it makes it all the more clear when another one departs.

Donald was an avid jazz fan and someone who would often write letters of complaint to the broadsheets. Last time I saw him was at the funeral of another colleague that didn’t enjoy any real time in the sun after he’d completed his service. I travelled in the car with him and it was a pretty hair-raising experience being that it came to pass that his eyesight was shot. Still, it was good to see him again even though a tad dangerous.

So when I got the call this morning it seemed like the close of another chapter, one that I associate with better times and an element of camaraderie. I used to call him “a daft auld bastard”. It was a term of endearment that he seemed to enjoy.

Hot on the heels of that, I took a walk into the factory and heard “Romeo” by Mr Big (UK variety). That always makes me think about Ali(stair) Beattie and how we spent an afternoon in December 1976 looking for copies of “Anarchy” (EMI2566) in a local junkshop basement. Needless to say we didn’t find any but there was a wheen of Mr Big discs (EMI2567) down there. Ali left at a very young age a long time ago but anytime I hear this, it takes me right back to that basement. There was something down there. However, it wasn't Pistols singles.

The snow came back today, nothing drastic but enough to cause minor grief. I’ve allocated myself one hour in front of the computer screen tonight and that is close to being up. Anything else will have to wait until tomorrow.