Friday, March 10, 2017

Andy's funeral

Another misty day. Lorraine dropped me off at Preston Park Station this morning and I went to Gatwick where I met Pat and Barney having gone through security. Off this morning to Newquay to go to Andy Wilson's funeral. Met Pat's second cousin Liz who was with some others who had worked with Andy at a different agency.

I got lucky with the seating and had two seats to myself, on the Flybe, and sat by the window. A blanket of cloud broke up a bit over the North Cornwall coast and I could see the beaches of the rugged coast before we landed. The airport smaller than Guernsey and with no luggage we were all through in no time, and into an eight person cab, which hared us off through more mis to the crematorium on the outskirts of Truro, we were slightly late but crept in nevertheless. Andy's coffin there.

A misty day here too, and I was interested to see some of the countryside as I had never been to this part of England before.

Then, standing about outside, Barney, Pat and I were given a lift by Lloyd, a cornish copywriter who had also worked with Andy. We drove off to a lovely church on the outskirts of Newquay called St Columb Minor Parish Church where there was a remembrance for Andy. The vicar who had been at the crematorium clearly knew Andy, who he called Drew, well. We were asked to write messages to Andy, and I wrote one about laughing in a bucket, as Andy had told me that to make a party a success I had to get a bucket. He demonstrated in the office with a metal desk bin and laughed hollowly into it, and invited me to follow suit. It worked a treat.

Andy was my art director for about a year, and when you work in a two person team like this spending all hours together, it is fast way to get to know someone really well. He was a genuinely lovely man whose life span out of control.

The saddest part was a film shown with clips of Andy talking and laughing and messing about with cameras, which brought a tear to my eye. His uncle and brother and former partner Ali all spoke too, and nobody glossed over his terrible last few years battling alcoholism. But everyone was reminded what a sweet, handsome and talented man Andy was. His and Ali's children are teenagers, and I remember seeing them as toddlers.

Then off to the Bristol hotel, high on the seafront for a reception. A few Cornish Doom Bar, and sandwiches and several big platters of Cornish pasties. Nice to hang out with Pat and Barney. The three of us broke off for a seafront walk for 45 minutes. On the way back we bumped into Andy's uncle who asked us if Andy was any good at his job. We were able to reassure him that he most certainly was. When we went back to the hotel the party had thinned, and I sat with Andy's Mum and his brother Patrick and his wife (who live in Singapore) and cousin for half an hour or so chatting. Nice to share this time with them. Andy's mum invited me to stay with her if ever I find myself down this way, which was very kind of her.

Then a taxi back to the airport, and a fast journey home. Walking up from Preston Park I called Mum, to hear that Gerald was still holding on.

Met Lorraine in the Park View where I had another Doom Bar and we had a quick bite to eat. Home and happy to be with Lorraine, after a sad day, that I am pleased I was part of.

Below the the photo that was used for the service of Andy. A beautiful man with a beautiful soul. Some snaps from the plane, over the River Camel, along the north Cornwall coast towards Newquay, and coming into Newquay airport from the Celtic sea and three uninspired snaps of Newquay.

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