I spent yesterday afternoon and night with Weeza and co. Though I mostly kept things light, I did say to the children – Zerlina and Gus, that is – how very much Tim had enjoyed knowing them. We took them on holiday to the caravan in Pembrokeshire several times. Gus was still four the first time, much the same age as Tim’s earliest memories of the same beach. He and his sister were immediately entranced. Scrambling on rocks (my heart in my mouth, but they weren’t careless and no accidents happened), Gus stood and held out his arms “I can see the whole world, I can see the sea, I can see everything.”
I thought I’d have to explain the magic of this place, said Tim. But they get it. He was so thrilled to see it again through a child’s eyes, who got it.
So I reminded them of that and Gus laughed a bit bashfully. And I thanked them and then said I’d not bang on about it any more.
I will visit Wisemans Bridge again, if only for a valediction. But perhaps more. Tim’s late wife’s sister and her husband have recently moved back to a family home in Narberth, which is only a few miles away. They’d love to use it and would be happy to take it on, with my carte blanche to visit or family to do so, any time. But I may keep it in my name, with similar freedom for them. I take it that Tim’s family and Viv’s family remain part of my family. Until it’s sold, which will have to happen, they are welcome to use Tim’s Reading house. Alan’s very old mother still lives in Reading and they’ll need to come back regularly. We’d been looking forward to taking Ronan’s two to Pembrokeshire and maybe that’ll happen.
I feel disorientated at present. I did a lot of work with the photos yesterday and need to start on the catalogue itself. First, I have to move the pictures to a file on the desktop and label them with the lot numbers. I have to print off lot numbers, put them on the china and lock it away in my Fort Knox-like strongroom. Russell was allowed by the police to keep his guns in there without a cabinet, it’s that secure. The house is never unoccupied, I’ve taken on Russell’s obsessive carefulness about it (and, for obvious reasons, am not giving details).
It’s only a week since Tim died; like last Sunday, I was awake (by coincidence, I’m generally awake around 3.30) at the time he called for help. Last week, yesterday, a year ago, I’ve lost all sense of time. Seven years ago today, it was Ronan and Dora’s wedding day. I read a poem – actually, I’d learnt it but I had it printed out too, in case I dried. Dora had asked me to choose a poem, I found a selection (all short enough to learn by heart) and they chose this one. Invitation to Love, by Paul Laurance Dunbar.
I have a lot to do in the next week, but I can’t make lists more than a day or two ahead yet. Today, I’ll email round the family (all three extended families) and start on the catalogue. I’ll choose clothes for Tim. Casual shirt and trousers, he wouldn’t thank me for a suit. He only had one, he disposed of all his suits when Viv died and just had one, which he bought for her funeral and wore for all formal occasions since, including our wedding (which was fine, I am matter-of-fact too). Wink has done my ironing, yay Wink. Tomorrow, the funeral arrangements, further admin on Tuesday, then home, solicitor on Wednesday. All catalogue stuff on Google Drive, so that if I have a meltdown, I can ask Ronan to take over.
Eh. If you have been, thanks for listening.