Sunday, July 01, 2007

Safely, tiredly home.

We’ve flown under the clouds during Britain’s recent troubles – literally and figuratively. Monday’s trip south, during the “monsoon” that flooded much of the Midlands, was slow and painful and the lavatories on the train ran out of water.

But the car bombs which didn’t go off in London on Thursday-Friday night, didn’t affect us. I got back from Margot’s funeral on Thursday evening before it happened. And we spent Friday at the Dali exhibition at Tate Modern, south of the river, and thus entirely avoided the considerable disruption in central London, since Rachel lives south of the river too.

Yesterday’s train ride north through lots more rain, was fine. I saw from the train window as we neared Edinburgh, three men playing golf in the rain. They were on a green, one of them lining up a putt, the other two under umbrellas. We’re back in Scotland, I thought. We didn’t know about the attack on Glasgow airport until we got here and phoned Rachel to thank her for a happy week.

We saw lots of art, but no blockbuster. Usually there’s One Big One, and we start with that, while we’re fresh, and it provides mental fodder for the rest of the session. Nothing like that this time. But on Thursday I went to Birmingham for my friend Margot’s funeral, and that’s what I’ll remember for a long time, about last week. It was wonderful. Many tears.

First, what would have to be called a memorial service (not a religious one) praesente cadavere. Then a woodland burial in a pleasant spot south of Birmingham. Margot’s son Tom played the Last Post on the trombone. Then a party at home. She did so much, and was loved by so many. I wondered a bit if knitting were enough.

On which subject, I didn’t – predictably – get as much done as I had hoped, but I’ve finished 42 repeats of the 60-odd required for the central panel of the melon scarf. Details to follow.

Hotter Than, of Swindon: I got Sam the Ram from Blackberry Ridge. He’s available as a kit, which I bought, but the pattern can be had separately.

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