For no particular reason i bought a Newcastle Journal paper the other morning,Flicking through it i got a hell of a shock in the family notices, Pauline only 40 yrs old had passed away.

                  To add a bit of history to my story, in my wild and daft days in the “70s” i sold cars and was mentored(although no such word in those days) by two brilliant salesmen called Peter and Alan . We worked for Harry Woods garage in  Morpeth N’land and “had a laugh” which you could in those days. I prop slept on Alan and his lovley wife Lilian’s settee more times than my own bed,and we had great nights out in Morpeth ,Rothbury and The Gate, a local hostelry up in Thropton. Alan and Lilian had a pretty little daughter called Pauline who would wake me up in the mornings ,Usually by plonking her beloved kitten on me and we would have to play, me with a bad head, her with dolls ,dolls house or camps.

                                     I lost touch with the family when i married, but caught up later in the “80” s and got Alan a job at Benfield in Newcastle with me , he and Lilian had parted then i found later got back together, but we had all moved on .I got a phonecall off Lilian inviting me to Pauline’s wedding but could not make it ,in those days you couldn’t have a Saturday off at all in the motor trade  (i got married on  a tuesday). Moving forward to the “2000s” i bought a Journal paper and saw Alans death notice also showing his wife Lilian had died a couple of years earlier. I was shocked and rang the funeral people who passed on my email to Pauline, We emailed a few times and i told her how much i loved her Mam and Dad and sent my regrets for losing touch.

                             Then last week as i say it all happened again, I am not overly religous but what made me buy that paper twice spanning all those years and  reading the death notices.

                                    Sadly it won’t happen again. Pauline was an only child, prehaps the only comfort is she is with mam and dad again , but so wrong that they have been all taken so early in life If a lesson can be told it is not to lose touch with people,a quick note,card, email every so often will do, because i have regretted not doing this with my three great “buddies” RIP Alan Lilian and Pauline.


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