It's so good to be back to normality, sleeping in my own bed, sitting at my computor in my own study. (Well for a short time anyway.) I'll be moving back up to Yorkshire permanently on March 18th. The cleaning fairies finally put in an appearance while we were away. Yipee!!
The funeral went well. Obviously we had all been dreading the day somewhat but it's a necessary part of the process. His four grandsons had decided that they would like to carry him into the chapel. A lovely gesture and a bit of a tear jerker really, as our son was one of them. They are all big strapping lads of six foot or so, a couple are ex rugby players, so there was no danger of them dropping him, (thank God). However it might have been a little easier if they had been a couple of inches shorter, the flowers on the top of the coffin were lovely. Unfortunately the doorways are not that high and so when they went through the first door, everyone to a man in the waiting congregation ducked in symmetry as the lads came through the door and topped the flowers on the door jam. Fortunately they didn't end up on the floor, they were just slightly re-arranged.
The parson, as Mrs Beeton called him, was superb. He really captured the character of the Fat Controller and even managed to raise a smile along the way. After he had done his bit it was time for another little ceremony, which, we had no input into and no idea what would be involved. You see the Fat Controller was a member of the Royal Antidiluvian Order of Buffalos, or the Buffs for short. He had been a lifelong member and so when the 'funeral marshall' called us to ask if they could do their own ceremony at the end we decided it would have been what he wanted. As he never chose to discuss what he did at the meetings we were all a bit in the dark. With a nod from the parson they stepped forward and surrounded the coffin. Then the funeral marshall started to talk, I have no idea what he was saying and on asking around later, it appears that everybody else was in the same boat. So they did their little speech, sang a nice song, then the only dodgy bit, they each took a leaf out of their pocket and placed it on the coffin, and linked arms to say a prayer. Phew! at least there wasn't any rolling up of the trouser leg or knotted hankies on their heads. I get the impression that the Buffs is a sort of adult version of the boy scouts, instead of badges they have medals, instead of brigades they have lodges etc. I could be wrong.
The funeral tea went swimmingly, well apart from a sticky moment when Mrs Beeton's brother had a funny turn and was carted off to hospital in an ambulance. They let him home the following day. We met lots of people that we didn't know but were very charming, we also met the Fat Controllers half brother, and cousin. (The Fat Controller was adopted at four, and didn't find his real family until after he had retired.) We got an invite to an 80th birthday party and another funeral 'possibly' in the next couple of weeks!! Don't ask, I didn't like to go into detail, and as the average age in the room was eighty, you get the picture.
All in all I think the Fat Controller would have been pleased with the service and the turn out, and very proud of Mrs Beeton and their family.
4 hours ago