The Rambling Man :
We were over in Thailand for Garmon's wedding which took place on the island of Koh Samui in May 2007. It was a great and happy time as all the lads were there and we all met up at Garmon's hotel for a meal.
Cyril was in great form as we had just celebrated his 30th birthday with drinks, cocktails and cake!
After the meal Cyril, who liked to talk to you one-to-one asked me if I wanted to go for a bike ride. I was a bit worried as I have been in a car with Cyril so many times and had a few near misses, but I jumped on the back and off we went.
It was around 9 p.m. in the evening and the memory of just the two of us driving late in the night will always be with me. We drove for about 30 minutes to the middle of nowhere and stopped at a roadside Karaoke disco bar. There, inside, were three Thai girls singing on stage but the place was empty.
We sat down and Cyril ordered beers and we had a great laugh at the singing, which sounded like cats crying.
Cyril was speaking to the girls in Thai and then started to sing along. He was in great form and seemed to really enjoy speaking Thai.
We drank a few more beers and talked about everything as we had not seen each other for nearly two years . He was telling me about teaching and how the children all stood up when he walked into the classroom saying “GOOD MORNING TEACHER CYRIL. He also taught them PE which we laughed about as Cyril was not the most sporty person. He said he had to wear a tracksuit and a whistle around his neck and run around with the children.
It was getting late so we decided to hit the 7/11 shop for one of Cyril’s chocolate drinks and head back to the posh hotel. It was a beautiful warm night, and I will always remember the beautiful countryside, holding on to Cyril for dear life, as I wasn’t sure if I was up for the journey back.
We drove on and on and on until he stopped the bike at the same 7/11 shop where we had been over forty minutes ago. He turned around with a big grin on his face and I knew we were lost.
I wasn’t surprised at all as it was Cyril Funky Duncan and he loved the funk of not knowing where he was. So we headed back into the 7/11 shop and got another chocolate drink and asked the dude where the hotel was, but he didn’t have a clue. We had a good laugh and got back on the bike. Drove to a garage, woke the guy up to get fuel and asked him where the hotel was and, of course, he didn’t know.
At this stage we were stopping any traffic on the road asking random people where to go. At one stage, we had five locals all discussing with Cyril what to do and where to go.
We finally headed in the right direction and made it back in one piece. I think we must have swallowed about 100 flies on that journey.
I have Cyril to thank for getting me my first job at Gibneys Pub in Malahide, where I have great memories of the two of us collecting glasses, drinking splash and collecting our wages of £8 a night.
Sleepovers in Mark Grainger’s house. Heading into our first RAVE in the Olympic ballroom where we were meant to be working.
Camping in Dogs Bay, Galway! Taking my first drink with him! Camping again in Enniskerry where Cyril had a bit too much to drink and got sick in the pocket of our tent instead of outside! The smell was fantastic and he loved the funk.
His thumb that wouldn’t bend! His double-jointed feet.
His asthma and the fact that he wouldn't take his inhaler.
The way he walked with his feet pointing outwards!
He truly was an original guy and is sadly missed by everybody.
© Cyril Duncan
Siam Children's Foundation