annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


Just in time

First off, I want to say that I'm doing two sponsored walks in September and these are the links if you'd like to be the first to bung me a few quid. The first is for the Trussell Trust. I will be walking 30 minutes every day for the 30 days in September, trying to raise money for them. They run food banks which supply food to people who don't earn enough to feed themselves. As we are currently going through a mad cost of living crisis, not enough food is being donated for them to make up enough decent food parcels. I'm not going to tell you how I feel about the change in the way we look after the most vulnerable in our society as I've mentioned it before. But I am livid that most of these parcels go to people in work, whose employers give out big bonuses to shareholders before paying a living wage to those who create the profits by doing the work. Fuckers. Here's the link, even a tiny bit will help:
On September 17th I'm doing a sponsored litterpick - what they call a plog - horrid word - to support the work of the 2 minute beach clean who are fighting to stop plastic destroying the world. Here's the link to that:
So. The font has suddenly shrunk to barely visible as I'm writing and no option to change font size that I can see - must be one somewhere that I inadvertently hit with my unfeasibly large thumbs. 
The other day, after Bloke came back from Womad, the next morning he hadn't appeared when I woke up at 10. He's always up and about by 7 - this is how we manage - we both have time alone while the other is asleep, me now, him in the mornings. I was surprised but carried on making coffee and generally faffing about. When he hadn't appeared by 11 I assumed he was dead in his bed. Yes, I do have a tendency to catastrophise - see recent entry about Son and Covid. My mind went through the sequence of events that would follow - ambulance, removal of body - oh god, another funeral with no money to pay for it, oh bloody hell, we never signed those wills we made and I don't know any of his passwords - how will I tell his friends if I can't get into his phone? - or his laptop? - there was a post on the local facebook page last week from a woman whose husband had suddenly died, leaving her with no money and no access to the accounts - could anyone find a way into his laptop? In the end I banged on the door and woke him up and when he'd sorted himself out I insisted we find the wills and take them next door to have our signatures witnessed.  This has now been done and I know how to get into his phone and everything is on there. He already knows how to access my laptop as he set it up. 
So that's all good. People do drop down dead at our age. We're both 68, almost at the three score years and ten. The cost of my funeral comes out of my estate, this house. The kids will be fine. Fuckers.
I've not wanted to talk about any of this since the last conversation I had with my friend Julia was a fairly light-hearted one about what kind of funeral we wanted. She wanted a big do with lots of weeping and drunkenness. Then she died just weeks later, her car came off a mountain road in Spain - it was never discovered what had caused it. She ended up with three funerals - one at Marbella crematorium, where no one had realised that you didn't automatically get a priest - we turned up to a room with her coffin on a plinth in the centre and all sat there for a while waiting for it to start before we sussed that it wasn't going to so there were tears and attempts at speaking, then we all sang that 'Always look on the bright side of life'  from Monty Python, holding hands and walking round her coffin. She would have liked that. 
Then, after necking a few large brandies in the crematorium bar (Spain), we drove up to the village where she'd lived where the British expat junkie population had organised (better than us) a spread in a bar and a service in the village church. The junkies did all start to talk among themselves, not quietly, very soon after the priest started talking. I read Remember Me, by Christina Rosetti, which I'd accessed via my phone and scribbled onto a paper bag, dictated by Daughter, and Julia's sister, my friend D from Glastonbury read something she'd written in the bar.
Then back in England, there were many who'd been unable to get to Spain, including Son who'd loved Julia but had a tag on his ankle at the time. She was mixed race, brown, as are my kids, and she'd been a real Auntie to them. Her much younger sister didn't have a passport and it didn't come through in time, and there were others, so I organised a memorial in the pub, which we cleared for the day. Lots of people spoke, we had a humanist celebrant, then we all got pissed and cried and she became Julia Three Funerals, which she would have liked - like Arthur Two Sheds Jackson, also Monty Python. 
This was all 2005 and I still can't quite believe I'll never see her again, that our friendship has nowhere else to go. From my seat on the sofa I can see two photos of her - one of her and Sam holding up a big cake they'd made when Sam was about ten, one close up of Julia with bleached hair and a big grin. 
I loved her then and I love her still. My friend Julia. I will see you again, I swear it.

1:11 a.m. - 04.08.22


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Raspberry - 09.08.22
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Sunday at the seaside - 08.08.22
Take two - 07.08.22
Just in time - 04.08.22

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