So we started off at 6AM. Well the alarm did. I had cereal and coffee. We were supposed to leave at 6:30, after Jamie’s large amount of procrastination we finally left at 7AM. To be honest the next four and a half hours were fairly uneventful, apart from a lorry fire on the M25. We arrived at a chapel at 11:30. We stayed there until 11:50, the service started at midday. We had a look around. No one had arrived. We then realised that we were in the wrong place. It’s a good job there wasn’t a speed camera on Manston road as I think I managed to break the sound barrier. We arrived at the correct location, I dumped the car on a patch of grass and we ran. The undertakers were just closing the doors. The guest of honour was in position, Jamie’s dad had a space at the front, he went and joined him and I slid in next to Clinton. Talk about fucking close. The service was a funeral service. A reading of something vague about God, a hymn, “All things bright and beautiful.”, the music included the normal missing verse, the words in the booklet didn’t, this led to some confusion. Also behind me I seemed to have the Welsh National Opera, who were giving it all. There was a lovely poem by one of the grand kids. More prayers, the curtains were closed and 25 minutes on the dot a life was over. Twenty-five minutes for a lifetime is that all it’s worth? The vicar or celebrant or who ever he was, was just going through the motions. Yes, he probably had a meeting with grandad and went through a few things, but he had no connection, no feeling, nothing. It wasn’t a celebration of a life lived, it was a brief due process of disposal. Grandad did the eulogy (read by said vicar bloke), that was the only personal bit in it. He’s a truly strong guy (grandad, not the vicar, I really couldn’t give a flying fuck about him, even though he shook everyones hand on exit, yet more bloody due process). If I can get to his age and just be so not bitter, it will be an amazing thing. I’m pretty certain I’m not going to get that far though. Jim (grandad), seemed…how can I put it, ‘content’. He obviously felt sadness, but again I think he also felt a sense of relief. His dear wife had been ill for a number of years and had been in a home, yet he visited most days. I think inside he had already reached closure some time ago. I think it was summed up well in the words on his flowers, “Thank you for sixty years of your company”. You just can’t top that, hats off.
We then drove to France, well almost. If I went any further south I would have got wet feet. So we were within pissing distance of Dover at some merchant seaman club or something. I get a drink in. The first person who comes up to me is ‘Nial’, now he’s a bit of a wanker to be honest. He’s a thirteen-year-old boy trapped in the body of a decaying fifty-year-old. His first words were, “Hello, notice I haven’t mentioned a certain North American pop star”. Now this is his dodgy reference to Paul Simon. My reply was quite simple, “Its a good job too or otherwise I’d punch your fucking lights out”. He then made light of that would make a great YouTube video. I got my phone ready. He fucked off. It’s a shame, I’m sure it’s a tradition to have a punch up at a funeral. The odd thing is, he turned up again half hour later, and we had a fully coherent and sensible conversation. He’s still a wanker though. We stayed about an hour and a half. To be honest the only people at the wake were family. All the usual cousins, oddly only Jamie and Megan managed to send flowers. Uncle Pete was propping up the bar. It’s a strange family, but aren’t they all? Oh and another thing, the funeral directions stated, no black suits and shit. All the men had black suits and black ties, I was there in a purple shirt and green trousers. Jamie, Megan and I looked like we should have been at a fucking circus. Anyway, all over and done with now. The journey back was even more uneventful, I did it in one stint of about four hours. Every time Jamie dropped off I turned the heated seat on.
Got home. I went for a run. It’s quiet without the dogs. Glad they are back tomorrow.
Oh, now if you are an owner of multiple multiple cats and were thinking of Christmas presents, then I’ll just say that ‘Monty Python Mostly Live’, is released in November and if you preorder now from Amazon it’s just over a tenner#1
#1 I can’t guarantee that I won’t have divorced the porky big shit by then.