Many of you know that Liam, my late fella and I, had known each other for many years, long before we became partners in 2000.
We originally met as teenagers, and our paths had crossed many times over the 70's and 80's.
All the time I'd known him, he was always a bit of a "Del Boy"
(If you don't know who Del Boy was, please see here )
In the mid 80's on returning from working in the U.S.A. he trained to become a Driving Instructor.
I had decided to learn to drive, and was taking lessons with Liam. One day, my Mum and Dad were having a garage built, and I was up at their house lending a hand with sweeping up and making tea.
I 'phoned Liam and asked him to pick me up from their house for my driving lesson.
LIAM: What's going on at your Mum's?
ME: They're having a garage built at the bottom of the garden with a drive going out onto the lane that runs along the back.
LIAM: Has your Dad got any gates for his drive yet?
ME: No, but I know he wants some.
LIAM: I've got a pair of wrought iron ones. D'ya think he'd be interested? I want £35 for them, but being as it's for your Dad, I'd let him have them for £30.
I spoke to my Dad, £30 was a good price and he wanted the gates. We went down to Liam's to pick them up. Dad was well pleased, they were in fantastic condition. Liam also had a high single iron gate for sale too, Dad paid him £15 for it as he'd also been looking for something to put up at the side of the garage.
Over the years the gates have been painted a few times, but there still there doing a good job over 20 years later.
Since Liam died, whenever I'm in the company of those who knew him, there is always a story or two about how he always seemed to be able to make a few quid selling stuff on that he had acquired one way or another.
I've seen him spend £3 on three vinyl LP music albums at a Car Boot Sale on a Sunday morning, and come back from a vinyl record dealer on a Monday lunchtime with £30 quid that he'd just sold them for! He really knew his stuff.
Not long after Liam died, I was having a giggle with his brother-in-law, Tony, about Liam's money-spinning ideas.
Tony told me the following story.....................................
"Years ago, Liam was round here having a cup of coffee and my next door neighbour was having a new drive built, and replacing all of his wrought iron gates with wooden ones.
Liam went out and asked him if he could take the gates of the rubbish skip. He gave the neighbour £5 to 'buy himself a drink'.
Anyway, it turned out that one of his driving school pupil's Dad was looking for some gates."
I was beginning to realise that this story sounded a bit too familiar!
Tony then asked, "Guess what he sold them for?"
"£45 quid?" I suggested.
He nodded and then blushed with embarrassment, "Oh my God, it was you, wasn't it?" he asked.
Even though Liam is no longer with us, even now, he's still making me laugh!