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Another early story‭; ‬this one was loosely based on someone I used to know.‭

It also leans heavily on my experiences as a barman in a seafront pub in Hastings.‭

There never was a group of bikes calling themselves the Old Faithfuls but,‭ ‬if there were,‭ ‬they would have been some of my customers during the cold and wet winter of‭ ‬1983/84.

End of Story

I stood high on the hill overlooking the cemetery and watched as the mourners made their way back to the waiting cars.‭

Martin’s parents led the procession,‭ ‬walking side by side but apart as if each blamed the other for their son’s death.‭

Later,‭ ‬I knew that Martin’s abrasive father would complain that…‭ ‬“Martin had cost them plenty in life and then plenty more in death.‭”

But today,‭ ‬and perhaps for the first time ever,‭ ‬Martin could do no wrong.‭

Now don’t get me wrong,‭ ‬I like to think that I’m a tough enough guy.‭ ‬I’ve certainly been to more than my fair share of funerals.‭

But,‭ ‬as I watched all those poor people walking slowly in the rain,‭ ‬missing for the first time someone that they had lost years ago,‭ ‬I felt a tear form in my eye and,‭ ‬strong as I am,‭ ‬could find no strength to brush it away.‭

Later on,‭ ‬back at the pub,‭ ‬after I had said goodbye to Martin in the time honoured manner and feeling a little worse for wear,‭ ‬I managed to remember where it was that I had first met him.‭ ‬It was that night,‭ ‬that night when the rain…‭

To find out what happened next you’ll need to buy a copy of Different Roads – available from from 1st August 2011.