My job is mobile and I split my time working alternate weeks in Norfolk and Nottinghamshire. I drive down country roads, enjoying rural England through the seasons.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Annual Update

Just given this blog a bit of a tidy up and spring clean, so having done that, thought it might be a good time to actually add a new post and say hello to myself and my blog after yet another long gap.

I'm up on one of my increasingly rare visits to Lancaster, spending the weekend with Shelly and hoping to see something of Ange while I'm here.  In fact I came up yesterday with my parents and spent the night in a hotel on the outskirts of Chorley.  We were up for my Uncle John's funeral, which took place this morning, partly in the nice but freezing cold St Lawrence Church in Chorley, and partly at the wanting to be nice, but rather bleak and barren looking crematorium in Charnock  Richard.  It was a good funeral though - if that is the right way to put it.  My cousin Michelle made a moving memorial speech, the service was not too long, and not too happy-clappy, they even sang the nice version of psalm 23.

Funerals are odd things though aren't they?  You have the ceremony, the sadness, the formality and orderliness of the service(s), the funeral cars and processions.  And then comes the wake, which gets increasingly cheerful as the food and drink is consumed, and people settle down to a good gossip and catch up with rarely seen family members.  My mum's cousin Ann even brought along a printout of her family tree, which she has been researching, in the hope that she could fill a few of the gaps.

We're not a big family, though, and have never been one of those close clans - although I think my Uncle would have liked it if we had been.  When I lived up North, I used to see him and my cousins, especially my cousin Michelle reasonably regularly, but since I moved south, the only times we meet up are at weddings and funerals.  It's a shame really, but that's how it is.  At least there are a few members on my mum's side - on my dad's side there are none at all.  Or there are, but we have no contact with any of them and I wouldn't even know how to start to trace any of them. My dad and his brother were estranged for a long time, then achieved a sort of partial reconciliation, enough to resume annual Christmas cards etc. for a few years in the late 70's, but then  when  my uncle died and dad couldn't get back to the UK to attend the funeral, they cut us off entirely, even though mum and my sisters attended it.  After a few years of sending cards and letters, my parents gave up.  I can't tell if dad minds this or not.  I know he idolised his mother, but he's not a very open or caring man towards anyone outside the immediate family.  I think that it probably suits him fine not to have to think about any other family members.  But it did make me very aware that when his time comes it will be a very small funeral, and probably not much of a wake.

Anyway, that's enough cheerfulness for one day!  Time to publish - if I can work out this new look blogger interface.

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