Saturday, 9 June 2012

Monday 19th December 11

A reasonable day, late start and bit of housework in the morning, but after lunch cycled in the rain to the Cemetery to attend Chris Benney's funeral.  Chris was David Taylor's partner, and although I didn't know her well, she was always friendly and jolly when she met me.

She died at the beginning of December, after seemingly going downhill for a while, and drinking more than eating, so a sad end to what by all accounts was an interesting life.  She'd been with Dave for 26 years, after two failed short-term marriages.  She had not done brilliantly at school but had discovered education later in life and got a degree and a Masters, and had done some lecturing.  She was passionate about social justice and environmental issues, as one would expect of someone partnered with a Green Party Councillor.

I have very few regrets, but one must be that on a couple of occasions I had the opportunity to get to socialise with her and didn't take it, so I never got to know her that well.  However, I had met  her several times and I liked her.

I arrived at the Cemetery just before 2pm and walked up to the Chapel in the rain, with Ginny who had arrived minutes before me.  The Chapel was already nearly full, but Dave was outside and welcoming people in.  I sat with Ginny.  Chris's coffin was encased completely in wool felt, a final humorous aside, as Chris often complained about being cold, so Dave decided that a woollen jacket would be just the job.

The celebrant was Rob Livesey, and he did the ceremony very well.  It was a Humanist, non-religious service; however, there was a lovely anthem which I heartily joined in with, William Blake's poem 'Jerusalem' set to the music of Hubert Parry.  I never join in with hymns as this would be hypocritical, but this song seemed fine.

Chris was buried in the Victorian part of the Cemetery.  There was a reception in the Chapel afterwards... I had a glass of Cava and some canapes, and a few conversations.  I didn't stay long, though.

I came home via a logpile and filled my trailer.  I got in about 4pm and settled down to my usual pattern of things.

After tea, which was a wholesome stew, I went round to see Ben and Jill... to get Ben's signature on some LETS bank account paperwork.  We chatted for an hour about all sorts of things and Ben put in an order for for some pears.

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