8th April 2019 by emmadurnford

8th April 2019

It was an early start as we headed to Grosmont in Wales (near Abergavenny). Sadly a friend of Colin’s that he has known for over 50 years passed away at the age on 96. I was lucky to have known her over the past 15 years or so. We made good time along the M4 although the weather was not great - this is the view of the new Severn Bridge as we crossed and no, I was not driving at the time!

We made it to the Lawns Farm an hour or so early giving us time to change and catch up with Karen and Chris who also made it down for the funeral. The ceremony was at 2.00pm at the little church in Grosmont and it was a traditional service with a very good eulogy. Unfortunately I felt rather ill right at the start. I actually thought I was having a heart attack - pain in the jaw and across the chest which was a little ironic as that is what Ethel had passed away from. I managed to hold out until the first hymn before attempting to slip out (of a very crowded church) to get some fresh air. I felt better as soon as I was outside and managed to get some water from the car and was well enough to return and stand for the rest of the service at the back. I think I was actually suffering from the stress of waiting for hospital appointments with the prospect that there may be something seriously wrong… and possible indigestion from some freshly baked sausage rolls a little while earlier.

The rest of the service was very good and it was so sad as Ethel was carried out to the tune ‘Sailing By’ from the last broadcast at night on Radio 4 following the shipping forecast. This is very poignant as Ethel and her husband Jack who passed away years ago listened to the forecast for the farming. The wake was very good with a spread of cakes and sandwiches all made by Ethel’s daughters - I had recovered enough by then to revive myself with a few platefuls!

Later in the afternoon we caught up with our friend John and Ed and visited Louis’s amazing workshop. We also said hello to dear old Buddy (Ethel’s springer spaniel) and his new friend Teddy, also a Springer, who must be confused as to where she has gone. They are lovely dogs but looked a bit frustrated at being locked in the garden!
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