Phew!  We made it to Sussex and back for Great Auntie Mue’s funeral yesterday without undue incident.  We picked up my brother Dave and my cousin Alice in Bristol and Alice, in doctor mode, had packed towels and freezer clips (??) and other such technical equipment.  Meanwhile, I had forgotten to pack anything remotely useful in that direction like medical notes or my hospital bag (which doesn’t yet much useful in it anyway as I still don’t even have the right size nappies).   Nothing like being prepared a week before the birth.

I was so glad to have made it to the funeral.  Auntie Mue was an amazing lady and it showed in the collection of amazing, dynamic friends who had come along in force.  She was in clubs and societies that I had no idea she had been in and had appeared to be a driving force in a lot of them, even in to her 90’s.   She was very much part of the church there which always makes such a difference to the service, as all the clergy involved knew her so well.   I shall really miss her as a rock of the family, as someone who never forgot a birthday and never let you get a chance to ask her about herself because she was always so busy finding out about you.  She had a great sense of humour and loved little people so they loved her too.

The kids did very well in the service and I think it was important that they were there.  They seemed surprised when I asked if they were glad they’d come as if they’d have thought it weird if they hadn’t.  I didn’t go to any funerals until I was much older.  Joth took Anton to the back of the church but he hardly made a squeak anyway.   Lucas gave me some lovely cuddles when he saw I was upset in the service.  It’s very bonding being with extended family in these circumstances.  I feel very, very lucky to have such a supportive, loving family, particularly in light of what has happened to the other side of the family in more recent times.

It was lovely to be able to carry out all her wishes for the funeral and know that it was all as she had wanted it to be.  She wanted me to play “Meditation” and it feels such a privileged to be able to do something that feels so appropriate.  I really enjoyed playing it with Joth too as I felt totally relaxed knowing we had been able to rehearse it and I think that made a real difference to the performance.  I’d forgotten what it’s like to be able to rehearse something enough!  Dad caught the last bit of the rehearsal on video, but my goodness I look huge!  I’m amazed I can play on the E string at all!  Actually, it was breathing that was more difficult – I found myself almost hyperventilating with the emotion (and the pregnancy) of it all.  Anyway, I link to it here for future reference as I don’t know when Joth and I will play together again…

The kids were great on the long 5 hour drive home even though Anton spent the first half hour screaming for “Grandad!” who had gone a different direction at the first roundabout.   I should have made sure that he had had chance to say goodbye properly but there were so many goodbyes shooting around I didn’t keep track.

The older boys spent most of the journey making my brother recount versions of his “Superhero” screen drama which is actually a black comedy but the boys were trying to persuade him to make a children’s TV version.  I think they were only trying to help his street cred.  I’m not sure David was convinced but Dave, you would be pleased to hear that they spent all of lunch today telling their friends the plot in explicit detail.  Judging by their friends reaction compared to their own gales of laughter in the car yesterday, I think it might have lacked something in the translation.

We feel exhausted today but Joth has managed to get a lot of work done but I’ve just crashed out this afternoon.  It feels quite a relief to think that I have managed to do all the essential things I wanted to do before the baby.  Everything else is optional.  I got the last bit of work in on Tuesday and Wednesday too where we played a concert of A level music students compositions.  I thought it was going well but then I made a horrendous error in one piece and missed a repeat and we ended up having to do it again at the end so the poor chap felt we had actually played something like what he had written.  I felt such an idiot!

Anton has had an enjoyable week.  Tuesday was fun at Forest Friends as I do the singing and then stay all morning.  The weather was beautiful and they dug up compost with buckets and spades and prepared a vegetable bed and then made booklets from the prints of trees they had done last week.  It was a beautifully sunny morning in the woods and they ended up dressing up before having the story at the end.

On Wednesday he went round to play with E for an hour and a half (daughter of my friend K who lives up the road) as she wants to be a child minder and she has such a lovely rapport with him.   He obviously had such a lovely time that I have been thinking it could be a weekly, reciprocal thing as I teach K’s daughter violin so I won’t charge for that instead.   He was very excited about going when I asked him.  If he ever didn’t want to do it he just wouldn’t go of course but if it works it would be lovely to be able to do more focused work with the boys on that morning and know Anton was having fun.

He’s had a lovely week for playing with older children all round actually.   The children at Harberton bestowed lots of attention this week.  He did drawing with K and played table tennis with some of the boys by standing on a chair next to the table and wildly wielding a bat, never hitting it but maintaining enthusiasm throughout.  It’s lovely to see how all ages just rub along together at these groups.

We’ve had some nice family times this week too in between the busy-ness.  We did a treasure trail at Cockington which started out with much hilarity but ended up feeling like a chore as Oscar clearly wasn’t bothered about following up the next clues and Joth and I got fed up doing it for him.  It’s strange looking back that it was at annoying at the time that he showed no initiative in following the clues.  He had said he wanted to before but didn’t show any interest when we were there but then it’s not really important so I’m not sure why we started getting wound up about it.  Luckily we had the good sense to stop before we ruined the afternoon.  The kids were all on their bikes and Anton was doing wheelies on his tricycle just like Oscar was trying to.   Joth had to get on O’s bike and have a go too of course.  It was a nice day in all.

I’m sure there were lots of other happenings too but that will have to do for a catch up post and I will go and extricate the boys from the TV and hose us all down I think.  If only someone would give me a bath and send me to bed.


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