Around Ireland with an urn

One of the things Mirinda was a bit annoyed at with Sharon et famile coming over was the fact that Farnham is presently undergoing extensive work. This means there are roads blocked, hoardings everywhere, cranes on the skyline and, worst of all, scaffolding. Mirinda hates scaffolding. How well I remember her various reactions on holidays when we find a delightful 12th century church which is well hidden behind steel poles and boards.

What pained her most was the fact that the almshouses in Castle Street have been covered in scaffolding for ages while the roof has been fixed and replaced. It really is one of our ‘jewels’ and a shame it was covered up back in February.

Then, this afternoon, as I emerged from the lane and onto the street I noticed this:

They clearly waited for our visitors to go home

It’s nice to know that a few of those tiles are ours. It’s also nice to know that it means Sharon and Jud will have to return in order to actually see the almshouses.

I was walking into town rather late because I had to take charge of the gardeners (an onerous task) while Mirinda was on phone meetings and generally having hacking attacks. I normally don’t like going in late but today, for some reason, it was fine.

I must have missed the lunchtime rush at Starbucks as there was only Andrew there. I grabbed my latte and sat with him. And he told me a story.

Andrew’s parents died six weeks apart about ten years ago. He’d no sooner sorted out the arrangements for his mum when his dad followed her. He was telling me about his hilarious dealings with Avril at the undertakers. It seems that he’s as inappropriate as me so we had a silly giggly chat.

The one thing that Andrew said he regretted about losing his dad was the fact that they didn’t travel around Ireland together before he died. His dad was Irish and would wax lyrical about all the places of his youth.

Andrew took out his phone and showed me a photo; his favourite photo of his dad. It was of an urn on the seat of a car, seat belt holding it securely.

After his dad’s memorial and cremation he packed a few things and set off for Ireland, his dad’s ashes in the passenger seat next to him. He took his dad to all the places he’d talked about. He’d go into pubs and pop his dad’s urn on the bar and introduce him to the barman and any regulars who cared to listen (Andrew is very personable and loves a chat).

What a perfect idea. And he had me in stitches. He really is a lovely man.

Back in the Land of the Living, the weather was still playing on and off wet and dry for most of the day. Mind you, I managed to avoid too much wet as my timings were on the side of the dry. Even going up to the park I avoided it.

To be fair, you only get the intense green (as above) following the rain. Still, I’m a bit sick of getting wet so it was with a sigh of relief that managed to be sitting on a sheltered bench when the rain poured down. This didn’t stop Emma chasing the ball in it, though, to be fair, she did dry off when the sun came out afterwards.

The rain hasn’t stopped the tractor cutting the grass

Possibly the most exciting part of the day was at about 9pm when there was a ring at the doorbell. We were in the grip of the South Korean version of Designated Survivor and I almost didn’t hear it – Emma didn’t which just shows how gripping the show is.

I paused the TV and went to the door. I was ready to abuse whoever was ringing so late when a smiling man handed me my new phone. My Galaxy S10. I’d almost given up on it arriving before tomorrow.

Of course I stayed up far too late setting it up.

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