The dull drive up to Gloucester yesterday seemed to presage a touch of the pathetic fallacy for the funeral. The lack of close parking spaces and the loss of diamond cuff link also added to the general air of depression.
But then the sun came out and the cuff link was found and the family started arriving and the general chitchat that is a function of these occasions started to happen with that air of brittle humour that often characterises ostensibly melancholy events.
As these things go, it went. I read the Robert Frost poem and, as the specific significance of the lines to the life of my Aunt made themselves felt, it was more and more difficult to continue. However, I got to the end and, in the reception after I managed to make my little speech and then it was done.
For the first time in my experience I found that the service (albeit humanist) fulfilled one of its functions and gave me a sort of closure.
I think that it was a fitting celebration of the life of an exceptional woman and I am grateful to my cousins for organizing something so appropriate.
After all our goodbyes were said I faced a longer than usual drive back to Cardiff.
We went back to Bristol. Bristol airport.
Why you might ask.
I listened to my painstakingly uploaded music during the flight over and, when the time came for us to land, I carefully put The Machine into the pocket of the seat in front.
And left it there when we left the plane!
It was only when I was in Cardiff and boasting about my possession of such a sleek machine and then offering to show it to my hosts that I realized that I had left it my EasyJet flight.
Frantic calls to Bristol airport only made its loss more certain, as no lost property had been handed in.
I knew from the announcement before we got off the plane that the turnaround time before our flight was off somewhere else was very short. And I also knew that the next destination was Edinburgh.
Edinburgh was duly phoned and the more I phoned the more I discovered that The Machine was not in any of the places where it might have been.
Eventually I had to desist and leave my further searches for the next day.
Adopting a resolute jollity which I did not feel. We then went out for a meal in the Italian restaurant that Toni thinks is the best in Cardiff, Skellinis.
Our meal was excellent with a richness that you do not usually get in Castelldefels. I paid the price by developing tummy trouble almost immediately.
The next day was the day of the funeral and, before starting out I phoned the length of Great Britain to find out if there was an honest man in the country who might have handed in The Machine.
Edinburgh was depressing, but I was told that the plane had another quick turnaround and went back to Bristol so I phoned Bristol again.
This time I was lucky. Yes a machine had been handed in which the voice at the other end of the line identified as a Mac Book and then altered that to (and I quote) “Oh, it’s an Airbook; one of those computers which are so think you can put them in an envelope. They are nice, very, very nice!”
At that point I felt that such enthusiasm was dangerous and I intimated that I would like to collect it as soon as possible. Hence the journey down to the airport after the funeral.
It is now safely in my possession, but it is hard to determine just how long that might be.
For example. We went out to lunch today, Sunday, to one of the restaurants in Cardiff Bay.
Toni spent much of the time before lunch taking a series of photographs to show his family as they have been to Cardiff in the past and he was very keen to show them just how much the centre has changed.
Toni’s meal was traditional (fish and chips) while mine was a little more outré: a trio of pies with mash and gravy. There were excellent and merited a photo in their own right.
The shirt that I was wearing was one without a breast pocket and so, true to form, I put the camera on the dining table in the restaurant and duly left it there when we left.
Only discovering its loss when we called into a dockside café, I hared back to the restaurant and, my luck still holding, the camera was still there. I am now, officially, in the “pressing your luck” zone!
The weather here in Britain is shockingly fine – not at all what we expected, thank god!
Now, assuming that I can get together all of the equipment that I brought with me, I can begin my packing and get back to Castelldefels with more (not less) than I came with!