Goodbye Old Friend


LinseedThere is a time for all of us to hang up our coat, take a bow and leave the world’s stage. This weekend it was the turn of my cousin and friend, Roger, to give a final wave and disappear from sight.

Roger was a gentle-man, farmer and engineer. Had circumstances been different he might have been one of the greatest engineers of our generation. Some years ago he took an old Land Rover and built himself a self-propelled sprayer, because he felt he could do better than what was available on the market at the time. He also built a rough-terrain forklift and a seed drill than would still outshine much of what is on the market today.

He used to say how jealous of me he was of me with my ‘oh look there’s a squirrel’ ways. I used to say that I wished my welding looked like his and not a pile of bird droppings!

He could sometimes be nervous and sweat profusely. Once, when returning from a holiday in France, he was nervous about entering the customs shed in our over-laden car. Unfortunately he knew only too well that the car had been almost empty on the outward crossing. He sat in the back, sweating profusely as the customs officer looked in the boot, an inch away from many many bottles of wine, before we were waved clear much to his relief!

Although we saw little of each other in the latter years, when we did meet up it was as if it had been but days.

I was his best man (twice out of three) but never the better man.

Goodbye old friend, keep those plough lines straight and the combine fire extinguisher charged.