Blain Richard Oliver
4th January 1987 - 7th December 2017
As his mother Rosie said; “Number one son, Blain Richard Oliver, as he liked to refer to himself in every Christmas card he ever sent to us. A brother of number one sister Skye, and number one brother Q2, such rivalry to be number one.... but beneath it all… good friends.”
Blain was born on the 4th January 1987, to Rosie and Quintin Oliver. He was a small baby who was diagnosed with an illness at 16 weeks of age which was progressive during the remainder of his life.
Despite less than perfect health, Blain was a good footballer and played on the wing for Sciennes Primary School; during which time they collected a fair amount of silverware.
From Sciennes he went to James Gillespie’s Secondary; where he played less football, made lots of good pals and excelled at playing truant, in favour of scaling Arthur’s Seat or going to Chambers Street Museum on a fairly regular basis.
Blain just wasn’t born to be a scholar, in fact he hated school. But there again, it wasn’t that he didn’t want to learn; he simply wanted to do his own thing his own way. After all playing truant to go to the likes of the museum, which in itself is a seat of learning, might be considered unique; alas it might simply have been a sanctuary from the Scottish climate.
As a youngster he was astute enough to know that money had to be earned and he wasn’t afraid of hard work. He had a paper round; although one with a difference; his mum drove him around in the car.
“Food was big on Blain’s agenda....talking about it, eating it, watching every imaginable cookery programme, with Gino D’Acampo, his cookery hero. Also, a great fan of the Sopranos and their eating habits; especially the way they would raid the fridge for some Gabagool.”
Blain would always go for the blandest of dishes, yet Blain had that penchant for Italian food; olives, Mozzarella sundried tomatoes and of course Pizza.Only recently he was telling the nurse in hospital the best Pizza he ever had was in Capri, when with his mum and dad on holiday in both Capri and Naples; or as Blain would say, “Napoli” in his best Italian accent.
Although Blain wasn’t a great traveller like his siblings Q2 and Skye, he loved his holidays. In the early days there were frequent family trips to Arran where they played football at Whiting-bay goals....with Big Q saving “postage stamp” shots..... or with the Walker family at Lamlash. But most of all Blain loved holidays spent in Italy as said, and his introduction to even more Italian foods.
After ‘officially’ leaving school, Blain first worked as a theatre porter at the sick children’s hospital and did so for seven years. He enjoyed that job and the craic with the patients as well as his work colleagues.
But in a change of career to better himself, he undertook a joinery course at Telford College and subsequently qualified as a joiner. However, with a subsequent change of heart, he moved on to work with children in Pilrig Children’s Centre, later the Craigentinny Children’s Centre. That was a job he loved, he’d at last truly found his niche, and about which he said, “it’s the best job ever.”
Blain was in many ways a private person, but also a real social butterfly; he enjoyed a good bleather, loved his pals, music, and liked nothing better than dancing and karaoke.....with ‘LADY IN RED’ being his star turn.
Now hair, or removal of it, was one of Blain’s major obsessions.....his signature “bad boy” look was essential to his image....he was as he would tell you, one of the most handsome men on the planet…. so much so he even requested a barber come into the Intensive care unit!!!
And there was the wearing of the full-face oxygen mask; the nurse who was fitting this was reminded to be careful of his hair, never mind his lack of breath!!
Yet all said and done Blain never boasted he was just so gallus and hated attention drawn to him; and he was hard to compliment at any time.
His greatest passion was football, following the Scottish and English Leagues avidly, but dedicating himself to following his beloved Motherwell, despite frequent ribbing from his pals. His dad, aka Big Q, Blain and his not so wee brother Q2, were the three amigos loving their trips to Fir Park.
Unfortunately, Blain suffered a stroke 4 years ago. Thereafter he became less of a social butterfly, turning into a home bird instead. Although he was as his mum said a philosophical phenomenon.
When his speech therapist asked Blain, “what do you want to be able to achieve;” his reply was; “to be able to sing and dance again!”
He was a Southside of Edinburgh boy through and through, with the Vici Bar, Scotch Hop Pub, Sainsbury’s, a cash line machine, Ladbrokes within walking distance of his flat... and importantly his great pals......heaven was on his doorstep.
Life was good for Blain, he was always positive despite adversity in his life....with his attitude being “I just have to get on with it” and that he did.
Always up for debate.....or should we say an argument, always needing to have the last word; “because I am right” he’d say. Always opinionated, always right, that was Blain.