Alexander Averin

Tuesday 5 June 2007

A New Day

Dear Diary,

Don’t let the Sun catch you crying
Gerry Marsden

I think this song is a sign.

I thought I’d do a quick blog before I start my no-work/holiday day.

First I want to thank those many kind people who sent me comforting messages yesterday. Now I know how it feels to be on the receiving end; it now seems that quite a few of us have benefitted from the support of purplecooers at difficult times. What I can’t get over is how special this group has become, a group that was formed hastily ‘on this side’, formed out of necessity rather than a planned goal/idea. Thank you CL. I find myself now talking to my friends about all my new friends in Cyber and! Good luck indeed. Thank you again.

I slept deeply, heavily, like a log as they say and woke to another fantastic sunny morning.

We enjoyed a family birthday meal for S last night; I cooked lasagne with Aberdeen Scotch mince - (Oh did I just write that? It should have been Welsh beef but there was none in the Co-op!) which we had with green salad, cherry tomatoes and tasty Jersey Royal potatoes followed by a strawberry and summer fruit, double cream and crushed digestives, cinnamon and sugar puddy thing with Joe’s (Welsh!) vanilla ice cream.

We ate our meal outside in the garden and enjoyed wine and beer and then later watched the girls playing on what V optimistically called the lawn and on the river’s bank and stepping stones. S is a typical Gemini, a child at heart, he relates well to children and he played football with them on ‘the lawn’ and though the atmosphere was bound to be subdued it was certainly good to be all together as a family. S is a very popular uncle, he even camped out with two of them on Friday night after much of the girls’ pleading, begging and even resorts to bribery! We were en famille on Friday evening too, sitting outside at the farm, enjoying a few beers and tasty salad and nibbles. It was another glorious evening, so warm, and the views from the farmhouse garden were spectacular. We felt close then and this was before any bad news came. Last night it was even better to be together, we all felt the fragility of this life, reminded again that any of us can be here one minute and gone the next. The cause of the poor girl’s death was, as I suspected it might be, a pulmonary embolism which for those of you who may not know is a blood clot in the lung.

S had visited his friend and the family and although he didn’t show it I know he was naturally deeply upset. The funeral is on Friday, the day before the local wedding of a best friend of the girl who died, the first of two weddings coming soon, both of her friends. How tragic is that? And what a sadness for the bride on Saturday. That’s life isn’t it? Cruel in the extreme sometimes but one’s thing for sure it toughens us up and makes us all better for it. Another-for-sure-thing is that all the community are affected and all the community will support the grieving family now and in the days to come.

We watched the comings and goings of the numerous birds; the doves were a little nervous as we were sitting near the tree which houses their nest but eventually they settled down realising that we were not going to harm them.

After dinner I took the girls next door to see their TV recording of the Great Tit family who live in a nest box in their garden. For about two weeks they have had the screen on ‘round the clock’ addictively watching the birds from the hatching of their six eggs to the time my J & J now feel is now imminent, when the remaining four chicks will leave the nest. Only one egg failed to hatch and one chick died for no apparent reason. The girls were as impressed as me. I want to get my own camera for next Spring and it would be a wonderful idea for a future present for the girls. My neighbours and I joked about how we could have our very own Springwatch programme, such is the variety of wildlife in our environs. M could be Bill Oddie, he has the beard and J could be Kate we thought, she has the same natural curls.

I spent a couple of hours in the garden yesterday morning chasing the ever-present weeds. It did me good to be outside and last night when V and family had gone home I did some more. Then I took a mug of restorative herbal tea and sat by the river. I stayed out until darkness fell, getting on for eleven clock. Peace came dropping slow. Nature is a great soother.

On to brighter things now, I’m sure you are all fed up with reading sad news.

Now for some good news!

I saw a bat last night, yes just the one! I’ve said before that when we first moved to the cottage, ten and a half years ago, there were loads of bats but, sadly, their numbers have decreased to almost nil. I am tempted to get some bat boxes but can’t see how they would attract them as there are lots of places here where they could makes homes.

The weather forecast is good for the rest of the week. This part of Wales seems to be getting the best deal. I’m off to buy some green paint (inspired by Le Petit Pois!) I am going to paint our glaringly white one. There’s a lot of painting to be done indoors too, the front porch for starters is so tatty, both inside and out. Very bad feng shui.

So back to blessings.

Number One has to be Purplecoo, Children, Chocolate and Wine friends who have blessed my life.

Paint which can cover a multitude of sins.

Genes Reunited. I seem to have struck lucky in one branch of my tree with info from one new contact made. I have found a County Durham branch which I have been told can be traced back to one family from Weardale. And the person has details going back to the 1400’s. I will be chasing that up for sure. (Suffolk Mum if you are reading this I am beginning to suspect that we must be related!)

I also made contact yesterday with another member of my ‘real’ family so that was some more good news yesterday.

Finally the blessings of:

Nature, the Earth, Birdsong,

Sunset. Sunrise.
There’s no doubt in my mind that L has gone to a better place than this. It is her mother and the grieving family that I am sad about.

My daughter is choosing some music to be played at the funeral.

These are three poems I have sent to her mother.

If I were in her shoes, they would bring me some comfort, albeit a shred.

All Is Well

Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household world that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It it the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near,
Just around the corner.
All is well.

Henry Scott Holland
Canon of St Paul 's Cathedral
David Harkins

I am standing on the sea shore,
A ship sails in the morning breeze and starts for the ocean.
She is an object of beauty and I stand watching her
Till at last she fades on the horizon and someone at my side says:
"She is gone."

Gone! Where?
Gone from my sight - that is all.
She is just as large in the masts, hull and spars as she was when I saw her
And just as able to bear her load of living freight to its destination.
The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me,
not in her.

And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
"She is gone",
There are others who are watching her coming, and other voices take up a glad shout:
"There she comes"
- and that is dying. An horizon and just the limit of our sight.
Lift us up, Oh Lord, that we may see further.

Bishop Brent
1862 - 1926

If I should go tomorrow
It would never be goodbye,
For I have left my heart with you,
So don't you ever cry.
The love that's deep within me,
Shall reach you from the stars,
You'll feel it from the heavens,
And it will heal the scars.


And now it is Angel by Robbie Williams. I know they are working overtime, a lot of them live on this site.

Bye for now,



Suffolkmum said...

I am sitting here crying - not out of sadness, exactly, but for the for all the pain and loss and the beauty of human emotion, and the lovely poetry which can bring comfort. I read that 'She is Gone' poem at my Uncle's funeral (changing the she to a he, even though I know ships are female), he was a sailor so it was really poignant. How nice for your son to have his family all around him right now.
I'm sure we will turn out to have an ancestor or two in common!

Bluestocking Mum said...

Oh Cait, that was such a beautiful blog. I am touched too.

We share so many of the same blessings-How I grown so fond of these purple cooers and our little community; Nature, the Earth and birdsong.

I see bats every evening at dusk. We have them roosting in the 750 year old oak tree right by the side of our barn.

I have found such comfort too from the caring and compassionate people on this site.
I am progressing well on my journey of 'self discovery' in the Orange Man Blog. And feel sure I shall soon be able to write again on my Country Bumpkin Blog.
I will blog about my oak tree and the bats when I do.

warmest wishes

Un Peu Loufoque said...

Cait your blogs are so interesting with there wonderful poems songs adn pictures. thank you.

Exmoorjane said...

Oh wow, I'm readign this on my laptop and so for the first time got the musical accompaniment - how clever is that?! And how right you are, Cait, about purplecoo.....I am daily staggered by the love and compassion from people's a very magical thing and I constantly wonder at it (and half-worry that it can't possibly last)....
I couldn't read the poems - or I'd have been dissolved in tears (they come so easily at the moment)....
music and poetry- they snag the soul too easily, too deeply.
I have mixed feelings about bats. I love them outside - and Horner Woods where we went the other day, has a huge number of species...but I'm not fond on them in my bedroom or roosting behind the bed!
Glad it's a better day......
Bright blessings, janexxxx

Elizabethd said...

The Henry Scott Holland is so evocative for me. We had it read at my Mum's funeral, and it says it all.

Inthemud said...

I'm so glad you were able to spend a happy time together celebrating your son's birthday, nature is such a wonderful healer and seeing your bat is great encouragement. We have bats around here, no idea where they sleep, but we are surrounded by woodland of Oak trees and hazel.

Such moving poems, very apt and sure to bring comfort.

I know what you mean about purple coo people, it is amazing how it has developed into such a community of support and thoughtfulness for one another. I too keep telling my friends all about my friends on this site!

bodran... said...

I arrive and it's all been said, and im crying..xxoooo
A special caravan on my site today just for you.xx

CAMILLA said...

Your writing, poems, and music are so wonderful dear Cait, thank you for that. Glad you had a better day today. I read that poem by Henry Scott Holland many years ago, and have always loved it.Apologies for notletting you know about the title of the Fairies picture Cait,I have not forgotten.

Frances said...

As always, Cait, you have created a beautiful space for us.

Faith said...

I'm nearly crying..... Cait, you know how to touch us all.

Love the fairy on a bubble picture.

The All is Well poem I had on a little card on my pin board for years. It was one of those cards with the deceased's photo on that RC's sent out. It was my cousin's husband and he was only 39 when he died, and it was so sad.

This may sound awful, but the Ship one I am already practising in my mind to say at my mother's funeral.She is not even ill, but pretty old. When Daddy died I read St. Francis's prayer, which is my favourite prayer, and it was a great personal effort to do so as I don't like speaking likethat in front of people, but I knew I'd never get another chance and I knew my sisters wouldnt speak. There are many versions, it seems, of the ship one and I like yours because I havent heard that last line before - Lift us, O Lord, so we can see further. I think that's wonderful.

Pipany said...

I love the All is Well poem. I think it brings such comfort when we lose someone close. Glad it has been a better day for you Cait and thank you for the lovely blessings xx

Woozle1967 said...

Dear Cait - I have missed your blogs and only just caught up with you. What can I say? Such terribly sad news but so beautifully and poignantly written by you - your gentleness shows through in your words. There but for the grace of God go all of us, and to live each day to the full is something so many of us forget to do. Tomorrow may not come and it is is good to be reminded to reach out and embrace life and loved ones. Thank you for sharing those poems - read long ago and lurking in my subconscious, but reawakened by you. Cyber hugs.xx

muddyboots said...

your blogs are quiete magical. so many thoughts, emotions, all there in print. Thought provoking.

Kitty said...

Oh dear, just popped over to say thank you for making me laugh - and saw all the sadness. Having a little teary moment now, glad you are feeling a bit better, that is just so so sad and seems such a waste of life.

Thanks for the dead squirrel with fleas comment, made me really chortle. And all the other kind comments too - I regularly feel so guilty I get so little time to read and comment more, I am trying to catch up but should be doing other things I know - more guilt!

Thanks, you are special xx

Kitty said...

PS love the fairies with chinese lanterns. My imaginary friend Bobby from when I was a little girl would have liked to join in with them!

Woozle1967 said...

Hi again - yes we are around 20 minutes from Symonds Yat (between Ross-on-Wye and Ledbury).x

@themill said...

Lovely Cait and you are so right about this wonderful community of bloggers. I wrote about my daughter the other day and people were so supportive.

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Keyboard flooded ...again...I read the Henry Scott Holland at my best friend's funeral. Went to funeral of my close friend's son yesterday...a humanist funeral..very poignant...he too was only 28..brain tumour. A lot of 'why' words winging there way about at the mo...
lovely pictures and music you clever thing!
take care

Holy Way said...

It is a good thing to be a sensitive soul - thank you so much for sending healing to me - so very kind. People need other people to be sensitive . Thank you.

Pondside said...

Hello Cait - glad to hear that you had a gentle kind of day. Thank you for the music and poems. I haven't ever read any of these so I will copy them and keep them.
I enjoy your blogs so much. When I come home after a long and sometimes difficult day at work I feel soothed by your site.
I am so sorry that you and yours are experiencing such a sad time - hug your girls - you've made me want to wait up for mine and give her a big hug.

Pipany said...

Hello again, Cait. Wanted to thank you for the lovely comments on my Wed blog - feeling so much better and more positive. Blessings - The Purplecoo site xxxx

llanfair said...

Thank you for your interest in my book Mr Cassini, and your kind words. You mention Mr Pip, which is by the New Zealander Lloyd Jones, winner of this year's Commonwealth Prize - my only other book is Mr Vogel. Well done with the blog, and good luck. Lloyd Jones