The Funeral

Mum’s funeral was, as these things go, not a sombre affair. Temporarily lacking a vicar one of the lay readers, and a friend of Mum’s stood in for the service. He did a great job at keeping things relatively light, and there were no Holy Spigot moments (particularly impressive for an ‘amateur’ doing only his second funeral).

I’m not much for public speaking, but it turns out that the crowd is willing to cut you a lot of slack on such occasions, so I was able to ramble without notes for a few minutes. That means I can’t report exactly what I said, but it went something like this:

When Mum was in hospital there was often something that needed to be done, whether it was a bed change, injection or whatever. Her standard response to being told about these, especially as communication became increasingly difficult for her, was to say “right”. I’m sure that the nurses took that as a pretty normal response, and of course it was. But it meant more than that.

‘Right’ meant that there was something else to be done. That could be as routine as making me breakfast, or doing the ironing, or one of the other hundred things she did to look after me. But it could just as easily mean she had to go to Brownies, or some outing for the old folks, or a PTA event, or any number of other charitable events. ‘Right’ meant that she could stay in her chair by the fire and watch TV, but there was something to be done, and if she didn’t do it then it might not get done.

That was the story for as long as I knew Mum. She was never involved in anything that would change the world, and indeed it’s unlikely she ever turned around the life of a single person. But she made a thousand people’s lives just that little bit better. That seems to me like a pretty good way to have spent a life.

Bye Mum

My Mum passed away last Friday. We’d originally planned a holiday for the last two weeks, but cancelled that and switched to a week in Derbyshire. We’d go out during the day with the kids (Gulliver’s Kingdom, Alton Towers Water Park, etc.) and then I’d visit her in hospital in the evening. By the Thursday one of the nurses suggested I might want to stay over, so we set up a mattress on the floor of her room and I kipped there (until she got tired of me being so concerned for her comfort and kicked me out). We hadn’t quite allowed for Mum’s tenacity, however, as I spent a further 7 nights sleeping on the floor, allowing myself an hour a day to wander around Ashbourne while someone else sat with her. I can’t honestly say it was an easy passing, but the awesome staff at the excellent St Oswald’s hospital made it as close to one as was possible.

That’s all I have to say about that for now. The funeral is next week, and I’ll be making a speech, so I’ll share what I come up with later.

Spring’s Lease

My daughter goes to a local Brownie pack where my aunt is Brown Owl and Claire is a helper. We found out yesterday that one of the Brownies had died after collapsing at the weekend. It doesn’t seem to have really registered with Lauren, as she didn’t particularly know the girl, but obviously the adults are quite upset, and I’ve found it to be rather unsettling too. I’m sure you don’t need much prompting for this, but might I suggest an extra hug for your kids when you get home tonight.


Figuratively, not literally – I’m trying to lay a kitchen floor before the gas man cometh tomorrow, we’re getting a dog tomorrow so have enjoyed a trip to the pet shop working out why there are more varieties of dog food than human food, and we’re two weeks away from shipping at work. So now it’s time for bed, and the sleep of the harried just.


An update to my campaign to deslug my life. Changing jobs has thrown a spanner in the works, though mainly a good one as the onsite gym is jolly handy. My knee hasn’t cleared up as fast as I’d hoped, so I’m doing almost no cycling, but I’m hopefully I’ll be able to start commuting by the end of the month. My weight has fallen slightly, but only slightly, and without the cycling that’s going to continue to be a problem. The biggest issue is the weight training I’m doing for my ab (I only have the one) and pecs (definitely two of those); they’re starting to firm up the relevant areas, giving a much sturdier platform to hang my lard from, so I think my big gut and flabby man-boobs are actually getting worse, not better!

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