I was in shift the day Bob passed away. As I was being told the bad news, a wave of thoughs came to my mind and I couldn't get them in order until now...Anyway...
Love him or hate him, Bob was the sort of person you could not ignore. When I first met him, he came across as the grumpy guy who could not get around that his RAF days were long gone. But something that did impressed me, was that althou he barely knew me (most probably didn't even knew how to pronounce my name as most people) he had no clue what sort of job had to be done in the department I work, he asked me if I needed any help. One of the very few who did.
The best memories I had of Bob have to be the UKOMA course last year. I had no idea he could be so much fun to be around. He spent most of the travel down to BOH talking about his RAF stories, and something that striked me was that, althou he could moan about very much everything, he lived a very exciting, different life. He lived the life he wanted to live, did the things he wanted to do how he wanted to do them, regardless of what other people might think of him. He lived his life on "His way" as Frank Sinatra would say, and that my friends it's far more than most of us can say and deserves a great deal of respect.
I can still hear the shouting "Oh for F*** sake!!" next door, his loud laugh or the way he kept singing that Girls Aloud song with the alterated lyrics in the UKOMA course (mind you, I still don't know the proper lyrics!!)
So I know you are in a better place right now. We down here, let's cherish the memories and remember that life is one, you never know what's around the corner and we better live it like he did, on it's full.
To Sandra, Gareth and I will be there for you in anything you need hun!!
We'll miss you.