Yes, the second funeral this week. Both ladies whom I’d known for many years, although Monday’s was the closer friend, both aged 79, both died of natural causes after some years of failing health. Margaret, who was buried on Monday, was the only person outside the family that the Sage told about the baby, until this week.
There were two elderly priests at Mary’s funeral today, whom I didn’t recognise until I noticed a family resemblance. I knew that her late father and late husband had both been clerics, but I didn’t know that both her brothers were too. They, with one of our local ministers, conducted the funeral service, which must have been unimaginably hard for them. I was startled when a family member went to the lectern to read the prayers – and he too was wearing a dog-collar. Rather Higher Church than us, I suspect – one of the brothers referred to our minister as ‘Father’, which many Anglicans don’t do. As he said the final blessing I could hear the strain in his voice, and his eyes were filled with pain, though not with tears.
It’s cold here today – I’d planned to cycle the three miles or so to the church, but changed my mind when I heard the whistle of the north wind down my bedroom chimney. I’m making minestrone soup this afternoon, and would like to add some tomatoes. I have none, fresh or tinned, and was going to cycle in – but I’m wearing a skirt and it takes an awful lot to get me to change during the day. I’m far too lazy. And cold. Upstairs is cold. I put on a coat when I go to clean the bedrooms, and I belt across the landing at top speed between bath and bed. The Sage strolls. I have to warm him every night. He is too polite to put his cold hands on me, but I insist. I tuck them between my elbow and waist to warm him. If I wake in the night, it’s I who am cold, and then he takes my feet and brings them back to life.