It's been an emotional rollercoaster couple of days.
So within the space of 48 hours, Jon Aylwin and I planned our road trip north and accommodation in an Edinburgh halls of residence for the Thursday night. I made my way from Cardigan to Shrewsbury via Aberystwyth on Thursday morning where I met up with Jon who drove up from Cardiff.
Travelling north, it was already a mixture of emotions that I felt as I made my way towards a city that I love but that I hadn't visited for some 7 years. I've always been a big fan of Edinburgh having visited there several times but not since 2004 and I had mixed feelings on making the return under such sad circumstances.
Old Friends and New
A Service in Memory
Yesterday morning saw an increased gathering as the majority of those attending Andrew's service were travelling up on the day.
Jokes were shared and there moments of laughter but then, suddenly, Andrew's hearse pulled up in front of the building and it suddenly hit me. Adorned with his adopted namesake's country's flag of St Andrew, seeing the coffin was heartbreaking.
But whilst there were tears of sorrow, there were tears of laughter to as the service remembered so well a life that was fully lived and a man who was well loved. It was a very apt service for Andrew in a packed room of some 150 friends and family. We entered with the Pet Shop Boys' Always on My Mind and we had music from Take That (The Flood) and Lady Gaga (The Edge of Glory and Born This Way). The Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, gave a pitch perfect tribute which made us laugh and made us fondly recall all that Andrew had achieved both for himself and for others.
After the service, after some confusion about the venue for the wake, a good gang of us congregated at the All Bar One bar on George St where we had also met the previous evening. It was an opportunity to raise a final toast to a man who will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
It was a desperately sad occasion but one which was made easier by the wonderful support that Andrew and in his absence his partner Roger, received from their extended Liberal Democrat family from across the country.
No doubt if Andrew was looking down at us all, he'd have Tweeted, 'what's all the fuss about'?