I really am not sleeping too well. An hour asleep, a few awake, a short nap and that was it. I watched the dawn from the window in front of me now. Very pink. I warned the shepherd, but later he came round, wondering why I’d wasted his time. It’s been a lovely sunny day, once the sun burned off the early-morning mist.
I was sidesman at the 8 o’clock service, so was out of the house by 7.30. Already, a couple of bantams were waiting for breakfast (some are shut in at night, some prefer to roost in trees). I chucked them a handful of corn and explained that the Sage would bring them warm, soaked bread later.
10 of us, which is actually a decent number for that early service – no hymns, Book of Common Prayer Communion service – the BCP is the proper prayer book for me, modern stuff may be fun but it doesn’t make me think – and it was lovely to see the Rector, whom I haven’t seen for weeks. She’s been away, and doing services in other villages.
Later, I went to the Remembrance Sunday service in the next village. The first hymn was ‘Eternal Father’ … oh, you might need a link… sorry, darlings, this does give both words and music, so if you don’t want sound, turn it off now, and if you do, apologies for the tinny-sounding organ. As a Lowestoft girl, I feel a strong connection with that hymn. Do you know, I am not a superstitious person at all. But, give me a decanter of port … ooh, cheers, don’t mind if I do … and I will, defo, pass it to the left, clockwise. Because, the saying goes, if the port is passed the wrong way, a sailor dies at sea. Honestly, I don’t believe it. But I still pass the port the right (correct) way.
Dick, who has read the Roll of Honour for our village for about the last ten years, died in the summer, Over 90 years old, he married during the war that he fought in as a soldier. His funeral was on the 70th anniversary of his wedding, his wife having died last year. Dear Dick, he found that Remembrance service very meaningful. We haven’t got another war veteran to read the names, but we have got a Lieutenant Colonel (recently retired) and he spoke wonderfully well.
I say it every year, and I shall continue to say it – this village, with about 1,000 residents including children now, which had far fewer houses 100 years ago, albeit they were more densely inhabited, lost 25 young men during the First World War. That awful war wiped out most of a generation. None of them is alive now, but they must not be forgotten. If only history lessons could truly be learnt – but if there is one thing that history tells us, it’s that nothing is learnt.