It Is with much sadness that I open this latest post with the sad news that my father-in-law Michael “Mick” Brown sadly passed away on Tuesday the 19th of July after a short battle with cancer. The speed of his passing from diagnosis to death was truly frightening and if any of you have any niggling complaints (as he had for several months) then I urge you to see your doctors and get it checked out.
I met Mick in 1981 when my girlfriend and later my wife took me home to meet the parents. Mick was having a kip on the settee. He was a big man and was often compared to Giant Haystacks, the British Wrestler of the 70’s and 80’s. He looked like him too in those days as he used to sport a full beard and moustache. As he awoke to see who had disturbed him I got a bit worried as he had a bit of a reputation as a hard man down at the pub. I needn’t have been concerned as it turned out because he was one of the nicest guys you’re ever likely to meet anywhere. We became friends and used to go out drinking together and often got into scrapes. Being a builder he would often need a labourer and I helped him out on several jobs and got well paid.
Mick & Jan
Mick loved cars and was always buying second hand ones, doing them up, putting engines in etc. One Ford Granada he bought gave him quite a bit of trouble and we went through three or four second-hand engines and gearboxes before he was satisfied with the results, often working on it well into the night and being supplied with a constant flow of tea and sandwiches from my mother-in-law and his beloved wife Jan.
As all the grandchildren started arriving it was plain to see he was a natural as a grandad. He loved nothing more than to be surrounded by them all and he used to tell them stories, draw them pictures and sing them songs often with his guitar.
The game of darts has been a big part of our lives in recent years and I along with my two sons have been members of several teams along with Mick and Jan and we have travelled all over London to compete against other teams. Mick took it so seriously that if he ever performed badly he would snap his darts in front of everyone, throw them on the floor in disgust and vow never to play again. He was always there the following week with a brand new set of darts stating that the new darts were going to make all the difference. Sometimes they did sometimes they didn’t but we did manage to pick up a few trophies along the way.
In recent years the business of day to day living and earning a crust has meant I never spent as much time with him as I would have liked and I regret that now. But you can’t turn the clock back and I have to cherish the memories I have of him.
He was larger than life in every way and one of life’s great characters and I will really miss him. God bless him and may he rest in peace.