We’re getting in the holiday mood, in our own ways and, I’m pleased to see, they’re quite similar. LT is in charge of paperwork – a measure of trust that I’m comfortable with that, because I’m rather a paperwork freak – and we’re sorting out out own packing and so on. I’ve asked him to check weights and measurements and I’ve done the laundry and shopping and we’ll work out the time to leave tomorrow. We’re not leaving tomorrow, that is, we’re leaving on Wednesday. I’ve cancelled the milk and the papers and he’s ordered his medications to have plenty in hand – I’m avoiding my old lady check-up so far because I’ll probably be told I’ve got to take pills for the rest of my life – and honestly, it’s not as if we’re going far. We can buy stuff.
Otherwise, I went to an old friend’s funeral today. She was an old friend in every sense, having been born in the same year that my mother was, and I have known her for 30 years or so. She was chairman of governors when I became a governor at the village school, her pre-retirement career was an illustrious one as a political agent, where she ended up as the first woman in charge of the whole of the north of England, and she was tough and formidable, but kind and fair and I both respected and liked her very much. I’m pretty sure she felt the same about me, which is a compliment to myself.
One meets old friends at funerals more than anywhere else, nowadays. I was really pleased to see them and there was a fair amount of hugging and genuine smiles. Joan would have been glad of that.
One of the hymns chosen wasn’t in the hymn book and there were nowhere near enough printed orders of service. The efficient part of me was quite anxious about that, but I sat down with a friend, Jackie, whose sons were at school with Ro. After a few minutes, I excused myself and went to ferret in a trunk, to the surprise of the church warden. I found the old Ancient and Modern hymn books. Yes! Hah. The hymn was in there, so we distributed copies and explained and all was well and i even sang all the hymns, though I felt a bit tearful by the last.
Jackie told me that her son, who lives some way away, always went to visit Joan when he came home. He was upset at Christmas, because Joan told him that she believed that this was their final goodbye. What a lovely man he is. He came to visit Russell when he hadn’t long to live, too. Such kindness and thoughtfulness, for a boy in his twenties as he was then. I will write and thank him again.
And I have, I did it at once. I’ll tell you a bit more about Joan tomorrow, if I remember. Well, you know what I’m like…