Last Sunday ( Father’s Day) my nieces arrived bearing gifts and cards. More importantly they also brought Ju home. I’d left her ashes with the undertaker until a time I could cope ( and until I’d paid for the funeral which now requires a second and third mortgage). Karen passed me a carrier bag which was surprisingly heavy. When I opened it I had a surprise and not a pleasant one. How can I describe it best…….well, you know Heinz beans now do one called the fridge pack which is a green plastic square bottle? Think of this as the giant economy model. An ugly green bottle with nothing attractive about it. “It comes with the carrier bag” Karen told me, probably in an attempt to cheer me since she knows that I try to fill all my bags when shopping and a new one added an extra bit of fun to the game. I placed my love amongst the flowers that surround her picture but though massive, it was almost lost in the greenery.
Yvonne and Ugo came to visit and were about as impressed as I was and had been my ‘brother of another mother’ Mike who was here when the girls came. Mourners 5, Green Tub 0 so far. I left them all chatting and disappeared to my computer to look for a suitable casket. Oddly enough on ebay I found a supplier to the funeral trade. I found a casket I liked and was happy that for a few shillings more they would supply a plaque complete with my own words. I paid less than £40 for it and that included postage.
This is a picture of the one I chose. Looking at the same one in an undertakers catalogue I find they charge £80.00 for the same one. No wonder funerals are such costly affairs. Anyhoo, I ordered it on Monday and it arrived on Thursday. Fortunately this was the day Yvonne and Ugo were visiting again and I was able to ask Yvonne if she’d like to help Ma slip into something a bit prettier. She jumped at the chance. We did the job in the kitchen and as I poured a little dust was raised. ” Your Mum won’t be happy about that ” I quipped, “it’s the longest she spent in the kitchen in years.” It broke the tension nicely and until that moment I hadn’t realised we both had tears in our eyes. If the dust got stuck in those we’d be in trouble. After finishing and attaching the plaque which just said “Julia, 15.07.1956 to 30.03.2013” she was placed on the table with the flowers I refresh every week,
Here is Ju in her new home.
Time to backtrack a bit now. I apologise to those who suffer travel sickness but we’re going back to Tuesday. Regular readers will know that I never answer the telephone and rarely answer the door. The main exception to answering the door is my postman. He’s one of those very nice, very cheery people it’s a pleasure to speak to and I can do it virtually without stuttering. Just recently he’s had to come quite often with goodies ordered from ebay. On Tuesday morning I saw him go past the lounge window and moments later there was a knock on the door. I answered only to be confronted by a little chap with rugs upon his arm. “Wanna buy a rug Guv’ner” he said, though actually he didn’t sound Cockney at all in truth, it just looked better on the page. Having expected the postman I was quite distracted but managed to decline his offer. Somehow he was standing inside my hallway and I was looking over his shoulder for my post as he suggested I might prefer some bedding maybe ? Again I declined and told him rather distractedly that I’d only have been interested in a runner.
The Postie arrived and he handed over the parcels of the day. I thanked him and passed him some sweets for his family. The little man meantime had taken his rugs and gone….or so I thought. As my Postie turned to go. back the man came this time carrying two runners. He waxed lyrical about the quality, how the wool went all the way through and how good length they were. In truth they were quite nice and I decided to have one. “The price?” I asked. “Well, they’re worth £240″ he said ” but I won’t ask for that. I’m asking for £120 because I know money is in short supply.” I’m surprised he knows my income so well. ” You’ll have to do a bit better ” I told him and we eventually agreed on £80.00 It’s 5 yards long and a tad longer than my hallway so I asked my brother Dilwyn if he could fit it for me since it would need trimming into an alcove.” Sure” he answered, “I’ll take a look tomorrow evening”.
Wednesday evening arrived ( sorry about the jump ahead travellers) and with two wins to one under his belt at Scrabble and a look of satisfaction on his face, my ‘Bro’ took a look. I confess to standing with fingers crossed in case he said it wasn’t wool or that I’d been ripped off. Maybe even told off for not asking him to get me one which he could have done much cheaper. Nothing. He just said he’ll bring his tools along next Wednesday and something to stop the runner sliding when anyone steps on it. I must remember to get him to do it before we play next week in case the score goes in my favour again.
OK. Ready yourselves……we now skip ahead to Thursday. This is the day of the MuJo visit. Muriel likes to look at properties for sale so I always buy the local rag ready for her visit. I managed to walk as far as the corner shop to get a paper and to throw my money at the government in the form of lottery tickets. I specifically asked Pauline to sell me the winning ticket this time but after checking on Friday and last night I know she hadn’t. So anyway, MuJo arrive. As always she grabs the paper to read as I sort out drinks. I’m just taking John’s coffee through when Muriel says ” Oh be careful, there’s a warning here about a man going door to door selling carpets in this area, and he’s ripping the elderly off.” The elderly? That must rule me out then, I must have had a different man.
On Friday Mike arrived again. We had a good natter after I fed him and I worked on emails till late.
Saturday. Mike took me shopping and then we went to ‘Let me Tempt You’ ( in the books) which is Temptation for coffee. We took the usual box of chocolates for the staff. A bit like coals to Newcastle I think sometimes as they sell individual chocolates there. We then dashed home as a cousin had promised a visit and had hinted that he was going to Stockport first. In my excited little mind this means only one thing TITTERTON’S PIES. The best pork pies in the world. Lo and behold he arrived with his partner and another of my cousins complete with a bag of 6 pies. Now where can I hide them? Too late, Mike got them and placed them in the fridge. It was a short but great visit with them all and I got some excellent family tree information I needed. In the afternoon Mike and I went to a place called the Tweed Mill for lunch and to give me a pleasure outing which really just means shopping. It was fun.
Titterton’s Pork Pies. The best Pork Butchers in the world in my opinion and unbeatable pies. Ahem, (I think this amount should just about do the job for this week Gentlemen). Not that I am looking for sponsorship of course.
Sunday- today.Emails kept me going from 5.am to 9.am then after giving Mike a coffee it was back to the computer to bring you up to date with my life. Mike has to go soon to travel to Manchester to see his father and I must get dressed because today I’m lunching with two ladies……….