Today I attended the funeral of the lovely lady that I went out to visit on my bike. She had a good send off conducted by the Rev.
She was well known in the community for her warm smile,and the ability to talk. She always welcoming and had a positive outlook on things and a sense of humour.
This was a good thing as she may have smiled at the goings on in the back pew.
Last night we had a pot luck supper at The Manse. Despite not having a lot of food to prepare, I had attended two services, cleaned the house after lunch and put out cutlery, plates etc and cleared up after all our guests had departed. By the time we got to bed we were knackered.
So when I woke up this morning and remembered that there was no school and therefore no children to lever out of bed, I thought that I would stay in the warm until it got light and the hens wanted “out”. Anyway Monday is our day off. Something in the back of my mind connected warmth with heating. “Funeral!”, I yelled at the slumbering Rev. “We haven’t put the heating on!” As with most ancient buildings, the old stone Church takes a bit of heating up. The Rev. shot out of bed as if I’d pinched him, startling the dog and began stumbling about looking for clothes.
I drifted off listening to the “Today” programme, and realised it was late and pulled on a jumper and my coat to let the hens out. After breakfast I made the mistake of taking my coffee to my desk to check my e.mails. I had a chat with my daughter on Facebook, read my friends exciting blog paulbennison.com, well worth a look! Then I realised it was 10am and the coffin had arrived next door, and I was still in my PJ’s.
The Rev. had robed up and was shouting “Don’t be late!”. I rushed into the shower, threw some clothes about, thinking I should have decided what to wear last night. My new black jeans didn’t fit due to being a size too small. I am sure they must have been on the wrong hanger, or I was feeling optimistic at the time that I bought them.
I rushed about sponging last nights supper off the ones I wore to Church and threw on a coat to cover all. It was hardly going to be warm in the building anyway. I joined the mourners and walked along slowly as if I meant to get there at that time.
The church was packed to the gunnels, most of the folk I had never met before. As I was desperately scanning for a seat, the Rev. appeared and asked me to join the chaps in the back row. Old Hamish was trying to look inconspicuous against the far wall, he seldom sits with anyone when he attends services ,so I often join him. The only problem is, that he has an Argyll accent as thick as a kilt and mine is pure Sussex. So communication can be a bit of a problem.
There was a large gap between H and my dear old friend of 92 years, N. He is blind and very deaf and has Scoliosis badly which makes standing difficult. Next to him on the end was “The Dutchman” his nickname, as he originally hails from Holland . Now he has a Dutch accent mixed with Argyll, making him almost unintelligible, especially on the phone, to a sassanach like me.
Talking was not my immediate problem, I had to get to the gap between N and H. N could not move out of the pew being so bent. So I considered walking along the pew but thought this might be a bit disrespectful, especially as H takes these solemn occasions very seriously, and tradition matters here! So, our man from the Netherlands and I stood N. as upright as possible and I put both arms around him and tried the front approach, with as much dignity as possible. I tried to squeeze past by putting one knee between his and the other in the gap and my bum on the hymn book shelf, sending books scudding along the polished surface. I got in but realised that I was facing the wrong way. The leg room is about a one leg width, so with some wriggling I got the right way round!
By this time old H. is glaring and The D. and I were in hysterics. N liked the cuddle and decided to sit nearer me to get warm. On Sundays he usually offers me a mint if I sit next to him, today I declined as he had some with difficult wrappers which he was sucking to remove the paper, putting the soggy bits in his pocket. The Dutchman and I found it terribly difficult to stay serious.
Sorry K., about our behaviour but I am sure that you are” throwing your crown in the air” and rejoicing at being Home, I think that you would have laughed at us and I know that your great faith has you on the “Bright side of life.”