It was late and about bed time as I sat enjoying a well earned drink in a quiet outside bar on a hot night on the Island of Crete. My ears pricked up when I heard two guys talking with a familiar North Cumbria twang, and as most folk would do when they hear a local accent when abroad I started a conversation by asking where they were from. Turns out that they were from the Carlisle area, and were a father and son. The father was in his seventies and the son in his forties, but what struck me was that during the conversation the son said "we used to come to Crete when I was young and so I thought I would bring dad here for one last holiday". It was then that I looked more closely at the father, was he ill and not long for this world? He looked fit and well but something in the occasional look of bewilderment and the way he spoke of long ago events as if they were recent, reminded me of a lady passenger I had picked up a few months back. It was a sunny Sunday morning and the lady was dressed in her finest, she seemed happy and bright when she got in the cab. this soon changed when I asked her "where to love". She didn't answer for a minute or two, and so I set of driving and waited "I don't know" she said and started to get upset. And so after driving round and chatting for awhile just in case she remembered, I took her home again. As she got out( forgetting to pay but who cares) she squeezed my arm and said"it's Alzheimer's you know it's stealing my mind.
When the son had taken his father to bed he rejoined me and confirmed that the father was suffering from the dreaded Alzheimer's. He went on to tell what a nasty incurable stealer of thoughts and personality this disease is. His final words were "you know I thought I was coming on this holiday for my father, but I think maybe it's for me, to remember the good times and to say goodbye before it's too late.