Such a beautiful day. So bright and icy, Martin would have loved it.
We drove through dazzling sunshine to the crematorium. Luckily, we were early, and didn't have to park on the road. There were so many people that most of us didn't see the coffin arrive - we were caught in a human bottle-neck in the waiting room. The chapel was so full that people were kneeling in the aisle, or standing at the back. The service was emotional, with speeches by the people who knew him best. A photo I'd never seen before was in a frame on the coffin, with a huge wreath of white flowers.
At the final mechanised drawing of the curtain around the coffin, I felt as I have done before - that this seemed like a cheap magic trick - the sanitised end of the factory line. The body cannot be seen to fall from the conveyor belt of life, but must be imagined, once again in an eternal state of being vividly alive.
The wake was held at the White Lion, Martin's local. It was heaving, I wished Martin could have seen it - just like it was back in the day, before the crowds dwindled, before the smoking ban, before the recession. He would have loved it - a good old fashioned piss-up.
We spent the whole afternoon and evening there, drinking and talking. There was no time for anything else.