The five boys lay on their backs under the shade of a beech tree. The evening sun drifted slowly south towards the horizon, casting a warm dappled light over the hills and meadows.

The sky was a brilliant kaleidoscope of colour, deep blue melting into green, shot through with streaks of pink cloud illuminated from below.

The air was heavy with the bittersweet scent of smoke. One of the boys sat up, glancing alertly across the panoramic view as a distant siren rang out from the village below. The others roused themselves from their thoughts and dreams and the group took on a sense of nervous alertness reminiscent of squirrels and mice, waiting in silence until they were certain the danger had passed.

The siren faded and the hill echoed with a collective sound of teenage relief.

The hours passed. Darkness fell and the night grew cold, so the boys built a fire and huddled together for warmth. They laughed and joked and chased sheep and talked at length about music, girls and all the amazing times they were going to have.

Deep down, the fear persisted that one day all this would end and life would catch up with them.

But for now, not one of them had a care in the world.

Finally, long after the last light had been extinguished in the window of the quiet houses below, under the glow of orange streetlights, they crept through front doors, tiptoed past their parent’s bedrooms and blissfully fell into a heavy, intoxicated sleep.

Tomorrow, they would do it all again. Over and over, until the endless summer finally came to an end.

In loving memory of Graham Moran, trombonist extraordinaire and fantastic friend.

You will always be missed, never forgotten.

1987-2010

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