Readers may have noticed that it's been very quiet here on my blog lately. The death of a loved one certainly knocks the stuffing out of you and I'm glad that most of us only have to experience it just a handful of times in a lifetime. It only seems five minutes ago that we were at Flo's bedside but well over two weeks have passed and yesterday was a culmination of those seventeen days as we went to Mortlake Crematorium and scattered her ashes in the rose garden where we scattered those of her husband Doug and where the same was done with other family members. Seeing a remaining pile of dust certainly drove home the significance of 'dust to dust' - it was an extremely moving moment.
We cobbled together this montage of photo's from her lifetime and used it on the printed order of service. If you click on it and look at the images I think that it captures the essence of Flo's love of life and overall genial disposition. We held a reception in her memory for her London family at the Richmond Hill hotel. It was similar to the one we held at the Ramada here in Southport and, although one can never forget the reason for being at a wake, it was a happy experience rather than a gloomy one. Once again we made use of the hotel's facilities and, after converting them to digital, we projected old cine films and photos of Flo's life onto a plasma screen. These caused so many happy memories to flood back to the family in the room and the conversation flowed.
I picked up a few more stories about Flo's life. Although her straightening of the Eiffel Tower will always remain the abiding memory for me, her sister-in-law Maureeen told me that when Flo and Doug lived with the family in Richmond, Maureen and Doug's mother had just one heirloom - a hand painted antique glass rolling pin brought home from the Boer war by an ancestor. This was dearly treasured. It hung on a wall and young Flo was under strict instructions not to touch it. However, Flo couldn't put up with a bit of dust or a cobweb that she spotted on the pin and ignored the family's wishes. No prizes for guessing what happened next and the ensuing crash brought family rushing from all corners of the house to find Flo standing amongst the shattered remains. "Didn't it make a noise!" she said.
As a diversion from the sorrow, I've been enjoying playing Words With Friends on the phone with some old work colleagues. I've been playing random opponents for a fair few months now and have to say that I've done pretty well with just three defeats until this week. But I seem to have met my match with Craig and Jenny from Instanta. It's worse than playing my computer at Scrabble. Every time I think I've come up with a killer word, they'll come back with something I've never heard of and worth at least fifty points - brainy pair! It's good to play a real person though. Whilst all the random games have been against "real" people, they could be anybody and I much prefer playing against someone I know, although if I keep losing like this I may change that opinion.
We've done it. The house is up for sale. We chose Karen Potter to sell it for us. We asked three estate agents to come and value it for us. They came up with prices with a spread of £25,000 which means that they were all within 5% of each other and, more importantly, within a few thousand pounds of what we thought the house was worth. We decided to choose Karen because we liked her website, had recommendations from a friend and she created the best impression. We sold our previous three houses on day one - watch this space.