Back in Wales this weekend, I met up with Sean, Phil, Dave and Kevin.
Kevin I have known from my first day in infant school, Sean from my first day in primary school, then Phil and Dave since all five of us's joint first day in Secondary school. All in 1A in St Illtyd's as near as makes no difference to half a century ago.
More sombre news, Dave's nephew turned up with him at the Royal Oak. "Billy" Budd, a family friend, has taken his own life, some time ago I think, hanging himself - depressed - in his garage.
I spent more time than I care to remember standing next to Billy (not his real name) as a boy in orchestras (school>county>national) as we both played double bass.
Even more bittersweet, he once asked one of Auntie Mo's daughters out on a date, but didn't phone her again afterwards. I got grief from mum about this, as if it was in some way my fault or there was anything I could do about it. Simpler better days, though I didn't understand it at the time.