Z doesn’t look back

Well, Ronan had the last word in the comments yesterday, when he thanked you for your good wishes and hopes to meet you at the next blog party.  Might manage a few bottles of fizz to toast their happiness…Russell was given a wine rack for Christmas, of such a size that it will only go in the kitchen.  90 bottles worth – yes, I filled it.  There are a few gaps already though (actually, I have a crate of claret in the larder, I will do some topping up in the next day or two – yes, I realise I could get obsessive about this).

Wink was not with us for Christmas this year, because she didn’t feel up to the journey, but she has changed her mind and will come up for the first weekend in February instead, unless that’s when her operation is.  I’m keeping my options entirely open, ready to shoot down there at any time.  I’ve warned people that she comes first and apologies will be given for any meeting – only thing that would give me pause would be the Ofsted call and I’ll evaluate that if it arises.

Today, I went to the funeral of my friend Mary, who died at the age of 91 after a rich and full life, if you’ll excuse the cliché.  Warm tributes from her family, we’ll all miss her.

A poem was read – Laugh and be Merry, by John Masefield.

Laugh and be Merry

Laugh and be merry, remember, better the world with a song,
Better the world with a blow in the teeth of a wrong.
Laugh, for the time is brief, a thread the length of a span.
Laugh and be proud to belong to the old proud pageant of man.

Laugh and be merry: remember, in olden time.
God made Heaven and Earth for joy He took in a rhyme,
Made them, and filled them full with the strong red wine of His mirth
The splendid joy of the stars: the joy of the earth.

So we must laugh and drink from the deep blue cup of the sky,
Join the jubilant song of the great stars sweeping by,
Laugh, and battle, and work, and drink of the wine outpoured
In the dear green earth, the sign of the joy of the Lord.

Laugh and be merry together, like brothers akin,
Guesting awhile in the rooms of a beautiful inn,
Glad till the dancing stops, and the lilt of the music ends.
Laugh till the game is played; and be you merry, my friends.

Sorry for the religious overtones, but I liked the attitude.  And – if English isn’t your first language ‘ better’ is used as a verb, meaning ‘get the better of’.

A number of you have said you’ll be glad to see the back of this year, it’s been a tough one.  Darlings, I’ll agree with you there.  Though there have been high points, many of which have involved you.  And the year is ending on a high point in our family, thanks to Dora and Ro.   So let’s look forward, shall we?

4 comments on “Z doesn’t look back

  1. Blue Witch

    I wouldn’t be keeping 90 bottles of my wine in a kitchen with an Aga… far too warm. Personally, I’d relocate that wine rack somewhere cooler – maybe into a barn or garage?

    Funerals this time of year are always hard.
    Good choice of poem.
    ‘ better’ is used as a verb, meaning ‘get the better of’
    Now, that’s interesting, because I’d always thought of the words in that poem meaning ‘to make better’.

    1. Liz

      90 bottles of wine?! No wonder everyone likes coming to your house!

      My wine rack holds 9 bottles and currently has 4 bottles in it, one of which is a soft drink. We are lightweight drinkers in the bear household.

      Enjoy your toasting.

  2. Z Post author

    Good plan, BW – if I want a glass of wine, fish out the key to the barn, go down and open up, bring it back and wait a couple of hours until the bottle of red is not freezing cold. It might even turn me teetotal. It’s all right, you’d be surprised how cool the kitchen is at this time of the year. I’ve always kept good wine and white in the larder, everyday red wine in the kitchen and it’s always been fine. But there will probably be some rearranging in the summer. There really isn’t an alternative place, it’s a big wine rack – actually, there’s no space on the walls in any outhouses either.

    Well, there’s also some cider and beer, Liz. And I did stock up a few weeks ago- some soft drinks will find their way in due course, I daresay.

    ‘Better….with a blow in the teeth’? Not very healing, surely, BW? 😉

    I still haven’t written to someone I know, who’s wife’s funeral was the Monday before Christmas (I only found out the day before). She was some years younger than I am, one wonders how that family will face Christmas next year.

    1. Mike Horner

      Hello Z and Russell. I’m lucky enough, as you know, to have a large dry cellar (or rather undercroft) here, and I keep my wine rack in the small room at the top of the cellar staircase, which seems to work well, but not ninety bottles, I’m afraid. About twenty to twenty five, I should think – I’ve just nipped up the cellar steps and counted. Rather to my surprise, the figure is thirty (or so). Makes me wonder how many I had before Christmas- because I’d rather stocked up ready for it. Oh well, shan’t have to buy any for a while. I’m waffling now, I’m afraid. Really intended to wish you both, and all yours, a very happy New Year – which we do most heartily.
      Love, Mike and Ann.


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