It was the funeral of a year-group peer today. We weren’t close pals, and I’d had to work, but I remember him as a Bright Spark, and we had some mutual friends, and I made it along to the wake. Toasted him, chatted to some of his family. Saw the mutual friends, met some other people I haven’t seen in a while.

Heard he’d been ill for a while. We’re all “of an age”, but young enough for Richard’s passing to seem a terrible waste.

What really emanated from the photos and memories being passed round, though, was not merely a sense of sadness and waste, nor was it perhaps that apparently opposing funereal clichĂ© of a sense of celebration. It was an air of acceptance, unspoken acknowledgment that he’d grabbed gladly at life, and probably wouldn’t have wasted time looking back on it in maudlin terms.

Stories of kegs appearing in flats and parties ensuing… fence jumps for five for free entry to Glastonbury… impromptu car engine transfers with no mechanical experience… One photo in particular from 1999, with props of large hat, can of lager, bifter… In a classically northern British sense, RSW would just ‘have it’.

Is it done? What’s next?

So his committal music, in the sober surrounds of Stonefall, was highly apposite.

Infected Mushroom – I Wish

I wish to give, to take, to make, to check, I wanna see it happen
I want to see, to be, the one that plays the game without no fears and regrets
I want to know you, better than I know myself
I want to feel the end, and to enjoy the consequence

I’m playing the game
The one that will take me to my end
I’m waiting for the rain…
To wash who I am

I want to move, to loose, to take the grooves, and to give it all back
I want to take the time rewind, and to kick it right from the start
To be unknown and all alone, lose the kind that are behind
To start a new play by myself and to give the best I have

I’m playing the game
The one that will take me to my end
I’m waiting for the rain
To wash up who I am.

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