Hello again blogosphere….it’s been quite a while since I last did a posting. I kind of lost my writing mojo after my youngest brother passed away. Trying to produce some amusing and opinionated pieces just didn’t seem important for a while. But time heals as they say, my brother’s children are getting on with life brilliantly and several kind folks have asked me to get back on the ranting horse. So here I am back in the saddle with some fantastic news for a change….
So yesterday we finally got to say goodbye to my youngest brother Mark. It’s been a long wait but he was laid to rest not so far from my mum and sister. And despite a couple of glitches it was a lovely service and committal. I was especially proud to see so many people turn up for the service and to talk to so many folk who knew him and just loved his kind gentle character. It was great to catch up with so many old friends and family, some of whom I haven’t seen in absolute years. Several family members had travelled half the length of the country (and I mean Britain) to say goodbye to the most decent chap I’ve ever known. But on a day which started out thoroughly miserable but brightened up beautifully for the interment, my fondest memory will be of my father Bob who delivered a stunning few closing words at the service. He chided those of us who had criticised Mark over the years for his ‘softness’ by declaring his utter pride for a son who had demonstrated nothing but goodness and selflessness to all throughout his life. He wanted nothing more than to be in that bloody heavy coffin rather than his beautiful boy. Poor Bob. We all felt wretched at losing a brother but heaven knows how he must have felt yesterday and these last few weeks. I can’t imagine his hurt and never want to experience it.
But life moves on. His kids were sad, of course, but full of life and his grandson, who we saw for the first time, was just beautiful. And you could see Mark’s lovely features in him. Here’s one of the shots of Mark selected for the service sheet. He was around 2 years old at the time and I must have been about 9 and my younger brother Dave around 5/6. I remember the day the photographer came round like it was yesterday and he must have taken 100 pictures of us. But this was the one and only shot that everyone remembers…
‘Bye Mark. Love you bro.
Last week in August we headed down to Italy for a week’s break to get some hard work done on the house before the winter. Regular readers will know there’s usually a bloody drama with our visits but this time there was no sense of looking back afterwards and smiling wistfully.
Now you know you’re getting old when your children hit middle age, right? Well tomorrow we’re having a party for our lovely, beautiful, eldest daughter Rebecca who had her 40th birthday earlier this week. It’s a cliche but it really does seem like yesterday when we were waiting to take her home from the hospital after her birth. Where do the years go eh? I’ll stop with the well-worn phrases now.
It’s been an interesting last few days for my family. My lovely daughter E started her new course at Oxford University as a mature student which made us all very proud. On Thursday my super grandson G had to have some important tests on a little condition he’s developed. Whilst concerning, the outcome was reassuringly very manageable, which was a huge relief. Then I had my 6 month review with my lovely oncologist which despite some recent niggles (see later posting!) went very well and, thankfully, I got another 6 month pass.
Now just in case I get a barrowload of complaints and tuts from my legion of female readers following my last posting, I thought I’d show that I’m not 100% porcine and do have a caring sensitive side too. You see for the last 15 months we have been looking after the youngest of our 3 fab grandsons, much-loved E, rather than him go to nursery. He was just 7 months old when he started spending Mon-Fri with us. It has been great fun, tiring at times, but we’ve loved every minute. And now he’s a couple of weeks away from having a little brother as our lovely daughter S starts her maternity leave. So he’s back with mum now full-time (and dad of course post work) and they’re going to have a ball.
Earlier this week I was watching the C4 tv programme ‘Very British Problems’ based on the book by Rob Temple. It describes our national tendency for unnecessary apologising, an obsessive interest in correct queuing etiquette and dramatic sighing in the presence of loud teenagers on public transport. I read that it was hilarious – a bit like Grumpy Old Men but with cutting irony so I thought I’d give it a go. Well I nearly laughed…er that’s it.