2 June 2009 (Tuesday) - A Funeral

One of the things I used to do with my old blog over on Yahoo 360 was to save the pictures I used and once a year I would compile them into a video show. Blogger does that for me automatically. I say “automatically” – it took a few clicks to do, but I’m quite pleased with the result at the top right of the screen. Or, that is I will be in a few weeks time, once there’s some more piccies in there; it’s rather repetitive at the moment.

I sat down to do the household accounts over a bit of brekkie this morning. I have absolutely no confidence in EDF (who supply my gas and leccie). Regular readers of my drivel may recall that a few months ago, despite my being in credit with the electricity they helped themselves to a one-off payment of over two hundred quid. Today I see I’m overdrawn on my gas account, but they want to reduce the monthly payment by twenty quid each time. What on earth are they playing at? I phoned them to ask them, and they weren’t happy that I’d dared to question them.

The morning’s post brought reminders (in separate envelopes) that the service & MOT were due on the car I sold a year ago. That’s nice.

And so to Hastings for a funeral. Dave Morley was someone I grew up with. As the years have gone by, anyone who knows me knows that I take photos of anything and everything. It bothers me that I don’t have photos of Dave from those halcyon years. As teenagers we went to Boys Brigade together. He was one of those people who made the world a better place. He was head launcher for Hastings lifeboat. He bowled competitively at county level. He was on the committee of the
Winkle Club. He was secretary of his local working men’s club. For years he’d been a leader at my old Boys Brigade. And he was a good mate – not just to me, but to the world at large. He’d do anything for anyone.

Funerals are funny things – at some I’ve blubbed like a girl. But this one wasn’t about being unhappy about his passing. It really was celebrating the fact that we’d all known a wonderful person. The church was packed to overflowing. Not an empty seat in the house, and people were standing at the back. The service started with Country & Western, and ended up with a rousing chorus of “Land of Hope and Glory”. I just hope that when my number is up, I get half the turn-out that he did.
It was quite humbling to see hundreds of people who’d come to bury my old mate, and I didn’t know any of them. Eventually one chap came up to me. Didn’t he know me from somewhere? Thirty years ago I’d messed him about something rotten when he’d been a leader whilst I was twelve years old in the 8th Hastings Boys Brigade. Eventually I found three faces I recognised, and I went to sit with them. If I was going to blub, it would not be in the company of strangers.
After the service we walked through an honour guard from the lifeboat crew, and were invited to tea and biscuits in the church hall. One of our number felt he ought to go, but together with Rick and Kev, I went to the pub to toast our old mucker.

Perhaps I’m an old alky, but you can’t say goodbye to someone you’ve known for thirty years over a cup of tea. Especially not when in the company of old friends you’ve known for even longer. A crafty half, and then Rick had to go. We gave Kev a lift to his mother’s house, which by a strange co-incidence is in Hastings Old Town. Seeing as we’d just said goodbye to someone who’d been so active in the social life of the area, we felt we had to have a pint in the Old Town to remember him.
I slept all the way home….

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