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Here's To Paul And Ian

Blog Date - 04 September 2017

Blog Date 

I knew Paul back in the mid nineties and the early naughties. For reasons lost to the mists of time he joined the bike club I was in back then and we became friends. Over the years we did the things that normal friendly folks do. We went to the odd rallies. I'd drop in at their place for tea sometimes. I helped them with moving house once. I'd help them and they'd help me with bikes and repairs.  

Paul with Andy and Judith at a mean back in the 90's
Paul on the left with friends.

Paul and his wife eventually took the plunge and followed their dream. They purchased a croft on the Isle of Lewis, way up north on The Outer Hebrides. Save for a rare return home and a curry with his brother I barely saw him again. And yet via his brother John and the power of Facebook I always knew what he and his wife were up to. As far as I can gather they both settled into the community, the lifestyle and their new lives very well. 

After hurting his back Paul was X-rayed. Rather than finding a slipped disc they found some ominous shadows. A flight to Inverness followed and to cut a long story short it turns out his back issues were due to a rather vigorous cancer in his back and organs. 

I'd known Ian in passing for ages but got to know him as a friend soon after my accident. We and a group of other lads would go out on Friday nights and do what 30-something blokes do. This would include failing to flirt with ladies, eating kebabs and generally making a nuisance of ourselves. 

We'd ridden together around Scotland many times as well as other trips (Ullapool 2012 Sandringham 2011 ). Much like with Paul we'd done all the usual friends stuff too. Helping fix bikes, going out for meals, birthday parties and those sort of things.

Ian stands clad in his biking leathers looking out to LochinverIan at Lochinver taking a moment to admire the surroundings

On one night out Ian seemed to be rather drunk and considerably more wobbly than normal. We thought nothing more about it but this was likely the thin end of the wedge. It wasn't long before his fine motor control was less fine than you might expect and he was diagnosed. MSA (Multi System Atrophy) in basic terms means the brain starts to lose the ability to control the body. 

As the disease progressed Ian reached the stage where he had to sell the motorcycle. I can only imagine how much that broke his heart. I'd still drop in to see him from time to time as he slowly deteriorated.

Paul died on Wednesday 16 August in the morning. I had hoped to maybe go up and see him sometime next year, make a trip out of it. It seems the cancer caused unexpected complications. Ian was taken to hospital and later died on Monday 21 August. I planned to drop in and say Hi on Monday after a job. He died before I had chance.

So here's to a couple of friends and motorcyclists. It is sad that they are gone and I can't meet them again but there's no point in worrying about that. They both partied and got drunk and laughed and loved and cried and danced and worked and lived their lives as best they knew how. They also got to experience the pleasure of motorcycling. 

Don't be sad. Yes it is a little sad but I'm very happy to have laughed and ridden with these two gentlemen. 

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Reader's Comments

Latchy said :-
Very sad news indeed, I met ian only a few times and he seemed a good un to me, life ain't a rehearsal so I for one will carry on living it to the full.
Rip Ian.
04/09/2017 21:06:03 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Cheers Latchy.
04/09/2017 21:46:25 UTC
Sharon said :-
Ian was a true gentleman. He always made everyone feel included being such a warm, caring and friendly man. His daft antics always made you laugh. Ian had a real zest for life and it was always a pleasure to be in his company. I will always remember him for being there to chat to when I needed someone and for the fun times we shared in Scotland. I hope if there is a heaven that it is a mirror of the Scottish Highlands and Ian gets to ride on. Thanks for the memories Ian ..it was a blast.

Photo of Ian Ian dancing an ancient magic Scottish jig to get his tent to erect itself. Good times, precious memories.

05/09/2017 09:29:10 UTC
Chris Bell said :-
Ren, it is difficult not to be sad reading things like this, especially for the people left behind,Life's a struggle along the way, James has new issues caused by his illness (hearing, affecting him mentally though)Please show this video to Sharon, she says'if there is a heaven etc' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGozpX7MIHI mainly about two Nanas. All the best to you and your readers.
17/09/2017 20:54:50 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Hi Chris. We're on the road at the moment. If we get wifi we'll check out the video. Sharon will understand the sadness illness causes for a youth, her own daughter is unwell and it breaks her heart.
18/09/2017 06:07:57 UTC
Chris Bell said :-
Hi Ren it's just a song by James when he was a little younger, no rush mate. I hope it 's a curable illness she has,I also hope you have a(have had) a sunny day, the suns out in Stoke,which makes all the difference doesn't it (dunt it,) in stokeie
18/09/2017 11:07:00 UTC
Sharon said :-
Hi Chris,
Thank you for the link to the lovely song by James, such a talented young man. I am so sorry to hear that the problems with his health are ongoing.
My own daughters illness is not curable unfortunately. It is a life long autoimmune disease called Graves. They cannot cure it but just try to manage its numerous side effects such as severe thyroid problems, constant migraine, eye disease and heart problems amongst others. Little is known about Graves disease so we spend most of our time being bounced from one department to the other with no one helping her. It's frustrating and heartbreaking. But we battle on, looking for answers and hopefully some relief and help.
I wish you and James all the very best in your own battles.
01/10/2017 09:08:32 UTC
Chris Bell said :-
Hi Sharon,I have migraines say, 3 times a month every other 2/3 months that's enough,but as its so little amount I just sit back and watch the light show (and blindness)for about 30 mins (mostly with out a headache but not always,how lucky).Yes we must all battle on it is their battle, but it affects us all too.
all the best to you and your daughter,Chris.
28/10/2017 20:32:27 UTC

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