I wrote here, at The Brewclub, last November that I’d lost my wife and one of my best friends in close succession, and have written subsequently that my ‘beer mojo’ has suffered.
I’ve had a couple of meetings recently that have, hopefully, rekindled my enthusiasm for beers, we’re even talking about a pilgrimage to Prague to ‘research’ lagers.
I wrote here, back in 2009 about my friend Alan and his unsung contribution to the preservation of Staropramen after the “Velvet Revolution’.
I would often take some interesting brews round to Alan’s and we’d sample them, discussing their nuances. Alan’s passing is perhaps worth recording here, if you’ll indulge me; it might go some way to explaining my lack of mojo.
I visited Alan in hospital; he’d lost a length of cancerous bowel. The cancer had spread to his lungs and he was in ‘Intensive Care’ on a ventilator with a full face mask.
Just a few weeks after losing my wife, it was all too familiar.
“I don’t know what’s happening.” He said.
“Yes, you do.” I replied.
“Okay,” he challenged me, “tell me.”
I sighed. “The doctors removed more than a metre of cancerous bowel, they say that the cancer has spread to your lungs, which is why you have an oxygen mask.”
“So, the mask is keeping me alive?”
“Your lungs can’t cope, so they’re giving you extra oxygen.”
“Tell me straight. What’s the likelihood that I could leave this hospital and go for a pint?”
I shook my head. “Realistically mate, it’s not going to happen.”
He thought for a moment, and then made a decision. He removed the mask.
“Tell the doctors I’ve had enough and I’m refusing treatment.” He – somewhat imperiously – instructed the nurse.
I suppose he was entitled to behave imperiously in that particular circumstance, his oxygen levels dropped rapidly and he slipped into a coma.
He died two days later, never regaining consciousness.
As I wrote back in 2009 “I believe Alan has assured himself admittance through the pearly gates when his time comes.”
I can only hope he’s waiting up there with a pint of something interesting for when I get there.