Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Lt. Colonel Ian Kinnear died last week and was cremated today. He was a fine loyal vital man possessed of an extraordinary enthusiasm for life and with a great laugh always near the surface however inhospitable the place or threatening the situation. Life was for living; time was for doing; negativity and pessimism were the enemy; as for naysayers for ever pleading difficulties, Ian rammed them out of the way.
Imagine him watching from above today’s pre-breakfast hunt for cufflinks, collar stud, black tie, lace for a black shoe not worn in a while. The hunt begins with the S word and progresses speedily to Where the F, followed by F it, F it, F it, with Ian up there watching and chuckling happily
The long-retired rugby player vainly struggling to button the top trouser button before discarding the suit in a rage, the broken finger nail as he tries to button his shirt collar round a neck that has gained an inch; leaving the collar undone, trousers bridged by a safety pin and the wife saying,
“You can’t go like that. You’re a bloody disgrace, that’s what you are.”
Ah, well, that’s life – or death.
And so we bid farewell to a man who has left us with treasured memories: husband, father, Scots engineer (always the best), cup-winning rugby coach, commanding officer and, in retirement, Hanley Swan’s rival to Halliburton - not bad for a single life and small wonder that mourners flew in from half way round the world, not in sadness but in celebration of what he was.
Meanwhile St Peter will give a sigh of relief: “Ian, we’ve been waiting for you. There’s a few things here need fixing...”
Ian, with a single glance, will recognise lack of maintenance as the sin. Imagine him humphing a couple of times while rolling up his sleeves. Miracles don’t happen; they must be worked for. Such is the consolation for those Ian has left behind: by the time it’s our turn, Heaven will be a better place.