Picking An Old Scab

Sleepless again last night after the funeral; positive today after the gym. We got back home at about 3pm or so, Mumsie had curated Pip for the day.

The Vicar was Chinese – a Rev. Lo – very affable and a great comedy accent to boot (pronouncing Harold as Howard – his best line? Howard is now in p*ss). The service was nice if you like that sort of thing, held in the lovely Uckfield Church; the interrment was rained on – the hole was neatly made by a digger. Afterwards there was a small gathering at the (sadly soon to be sold?) house, featuring what I believe are termed “nibbles”.

In the church (and pointed out by the Rev. Lo during the service) was a small stained-glass panel which had been removed from the original Methodist Chapel on the site of which my father’s house was built to his design in the mid-70s. This was the very Methodist Chapel which was used as the location for the hellfire lay preacher’s church in the film version of Stella Gibbons‘ wonderful “Cold Comfort Farm” (filmed 1968, dir. Peter Hammond). Yesterday, a lay preacher (an obscure relative) aged either 91, 92 or 93 depending on who you talked to, gave a loony reading at the church, though it was read in goodwill (and very well for a 91-93 year old).

I couldn’t really concentrate on the service – The Rev’s mangled drone was sending me to sleep, I was warm in my coat, I felt a little woozy from lack of sleep the night before, and I was desperately staving off an attack of sneezes from the vast floral display I had been crammed against by the over-eager “funeral dude”.

Was I a good son? Almost certainly not. Was he a good father? Probably not. I certainly don’t regret not being closer to him in his later years – I do regret being a little sh*t to him when I was a kid, though – but that applies to most everyone who had to deal with me back then. I start going up there to help S start sorting through a lifetime of anally retained paperwork, vintage clothing, bicycles, fishing tackle, vintage pron (hopefully), show-tune records (yipee) and stacks and stacks of stuff – my dad’s life. Oh, and hopefully we’ll uncover a stash or two of booze under the piles of paper.

Pip was very happy to be going back to school today – I think (I hope) we got away with her not having Christmas affected by losing her grandad – Christmas at age 7 is just about the greatest thing – I don’t think she “noticed” anything to muck it up in her memory.


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