Monday, 11 August 2014

THE HORNS OF HELP by Andrew Meehan

THE HORNS OF HELP by Andrew Meehan

Who is Andrew Meehan? You may well ask and I may well tell you. If you had asked that question ten years ago, I would have said he is an estate agent who works in the same village where I practice as a solicitor that village being Grayshott in Hampshire. If you had asked that question 36 years ago, I would have given you the same answer except we both worked in the same town - that town being Haslemere in Surrey. It all seems a long time ago - it was a long time ago.  He has retired now and he lives in Somerset and I have retired and I live in East Sussex. 

Well, what is so special about all this? The special bit is in between. The day we first went out for lunch when he was a young estate agent working for Messenger May Baverstock. The day he came to see for some advice on his contract of employment when he had decided to work for Cubitt &West in Godalming. The days he invited me to the Varsity Match at Twickenham. The day he sold our house in Dean Road Godalming and sent us flowers which we received when we arrived at our beloved Ravenswood. The day we met him in Es Pujols in Formentera and he couldn't stop talking about work. The day we heard that Harry had died and I wrote saying to him and Susan that we loved them. The day he joined me at Lord's in the front row of the Edrich stand facing the Pavilion. The day I went to his house to watch an England Rugby game on his TV. The day we went to Twickenham and he got hit by a car and he slammed the door so hard that the glass smashed. The day he opened his new business as Keats Meehan in Grayshott. The day I met his brother. The day I sent him my first client. The day he sent me his first client. The days when he banged on about how we solicitors should get computerised. The day he joined me in the pub to celebrate my 20 years as a solicitor. The day he came to our Christmas Drinks party. The day I told him I had Parkinson's Disease. The day he advised us to sell Ravenswood. The day he called me to say he had retired. These days and so many more go to make up a friendship deep and fulfilling. These days and such friendships are priceless.

He is a lovely man, a bit of a crazy mixed up kid but aren't we all? He has two strapping sons of whom he is very proud and a beautiful wife, Susan, with whom he is very much in love. 

I went to stay with them in Somerset in August 2014 and we saw some cricket together in Taunton and we ate and drank and chatted and watched the golf on TV. He then surprised me by saying that he was going to photograph me as part of my project. Now, originally, I contacted anyone who held a camera but latterly I have only contacted those photographers whose work I like. However, I wasn't going to say no my host and my friend and I am so glad I didn't for two reasons. First, why shouldn't he photograph me? Secondly, it is a superb photograph. He had given it a great deal of thought and, as he explained afterwards, he was attempting to portray the light and dark of my life with Parkinson's. My dark side represents the lack of controlled treatment and the light side the switching on of that treatment. He added that "the irony is that "The Horns of Help" (his name for the image) look almost demonic...."

Who is Andrew Meehan? He is my friend. Who am I? I am his friend. You need know no more.


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