Monday, 21 July 2014

Have I Got News for you.......?

No, in a word.  The interview seemed to go well at the time and I answered all the questions to the best of my ability, and then I was taken off to do a task, which involved designing a wee advert for a parish magazine to promote the adult education classes.  This I did and managed to print it off as well.

But I have heard nothing either way so far.

Whenever we interview at the school here, we always let people know the same day whether they have been successful or not, so I was naively expecting to hear this afternoon.  I am a little disappointed, I suppose.

However, I have had my first interview in over 20 years, so I am pleased to have survived that experience, and will be able to prepare for the next one with a little less trepidation.

Thank you for all your kind messages, and we are probably as ready as we will ever be for the funeral tomorrow.  I know that many of you will be thinking of us and there will be a good few candles burning in our names across the world, and for that I sincerely thank you.  It is good to be held in such love.

Saturday, 19 July 2014


The days are passing so quickly, and yet it feels like it has been an age since the FH died already.  It has been nearly two weeks, and so much has happened, so many people have come into our lives from his past, and we have reconnected with people from our past.

A wonderful coffin has been made for the FH, and I have seen it and wondered at the love which has been poured into the construction and engraving of it.  Cards are still coming, but the visitors have slowed up a bit this week, which is a good thing, because I still have to finish writing the eulogy.  The YFG has been at school and had support from her closest friends.

I have been touched by the willingness and determination of people to come to the funeral, and sorry that I am not going to be able to spend the time with each one of them that I would want to, just through the pressures of time.  People are travelling from Leicestershire, Edinburgh, Norfolk, London, Northamptonshire, London, Lincolnshire, and those are just the ones that I know about.  The girls are a little bewildered at the outpouring of people from the FH's past who are coming forward.

And, friends, I have applied for a job.  Just 18.5 hours a week in a local secondary school adult education office, to start in September.  I think it would be perfect, so I am hoping that I get through the interviews on Monday.  It is not the best timing in the world for now, but the job commences in September, which will be good for me.  The EFG will be at uni, the YFG will be going back to school, and it will be good for me to have some structure in my life - it is a temporary fixed term contract for a year, so it would help to get me started for now.  If I am unsuccessful with this particular application, I shall keep looking, and be glad of the practise with the application forms and letters!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Give thanks

The FH spent a lot of time in the last days listening to a CD of hymns, played mostly on a guitar, that I had bought when I attended the Methodist Big Pray earlier in the year.  Number 14 on the CD quickly became his favourite track, and if I ever left him in the car whilst I popped into a shop, he always asked for that track to be loaded on to the car stereo so that he could enjoy it whilst I was away.

The track is called "Give thanks, with a grateful heart" which says it all for me.  We have so much to give thanks for right now, starting with a very happy 22 year relationship.  People are coming forward with memories of the FH which they are sharing with us now, and we are grateful for their remembering.  We have two lovely daughters, and lots of caring friends, both in real life and on the internet, supporting and encouraging us through this challenging time.

On a very practical note, I am grateful for the stores we have built up, for the vegetables I am growing in the garden, and for the food in the freezers!  We are able to conserve our ready cash at the moment whilst our immediate future income is sorted out, as we look into bereavement benefits and I begin to look around for a new way of making ends meet.  I've had delicious new potatoes, runner beans and courgette from the garden tonight.

The paperwork and organisation is occupying my time, but I had time to cut the lawns today and do some washing, as well as going to gymnastics for a while this afternoon.  I am also having some interesting times looking on the internet to contact some of the FH's old mates from his teaching and special constable days. One of his old friends has helpfully written a book, so his website was easily found!

Friday, 11 July 2014

Days pass

Dear Friends

Thank you for all your kind words for the YFG, and indeed for all of us here.  The last few days have passed in a bit of a blur, with people coming here to see us, sending us cards and gifts, and all the arrangements to make, as well as a mountain of paperwork to get through.

The funeral is set for Tuesday 22nd in the early afternoon.  We cannot have it in the little chapel here because of the number of people we think may attend, so we are going to a larger one in the town.  We have had choices to make about so many things, but we are getting through it all slowly, and making decisions together.

There are some hard days ahead, but I am confident that we will get through them with the support of our friends, both in real life and on the internet, and that my faith will strengthen me.  The FH would not have wanted us to stop for too long - the fact that the church will be full is a testament to the kind of life he lived and he would want us to do the same.

We will pop in here now and again and gradually come back more often.  Blogging fascinated the FH and he was always amazed at how I had managed to connect with people all over the world, and the fact that blogging friends will be at his funeral would have just thrilled him.  We still have a lot of growing to do here in the Fens - it isn't over yet.

Much love to you all xxx

Monday, 7 July 2014

Fish and Chips

Hello YFG here,

Our family is going through a rough spot and we are all very emotional at the moment.

My dad, and a very well known man around this area died this morning and it is especially hard on my mother, who can't bear to tell you without giving the laptop water damage with all her tears, bless her. We all miss him, he was such a character! He had recently been very poorly and was looking forward to coming home. However, this morning we got an urgent call to come into the hospital. One of mum's friends had to take us as she was too shaken up and worried. They sat us in a room and the very nice doctor who had been looking after him broke the news and said that he was out of breath and passed away very quickly and peacefully. There was no suffering at all.

There were many times when he would be quite frustrating and others where he would be very funny. We went through a list today of the people we need to inform about the funeral and we have thought of so many people, it will be hard for us to fit them into the chapel in the village. Some people are even coming from as far as Scotland. We have got so much support and so many people who are going to help us through this. But mainly we have each other. We are going to take it one step at a time. I am currently on work experience and I think I will go back on Wednesday. EFG and mum are going to sort the house out while I am at school/work and I will help when I'm home.

For the funeral, we are going to put together a slideshow with a load of pictures of him and project it up on the chapel wall while people come in. We will also play Apache by the Hank Marvin as he always liked that song. Mum thought that it would be a great idea to get four BMW or other old English motorbikes to accompany the hearse through the village as my dad loved motorbikes. Last year, while my dad was still fit and well, he decided he wanted to make his own coffin. Now that certain circumstances have arisen, his son is now going to take that challenge on and is privileged to do that as it will mean a lot to him.

The title originates from a church service. Once, the congregation was told to write down something that they were thankful for. My dad was sitting next to a very elderly woman who had no idea what to write. Being his usual self, he leaned over and said to the lady "Put fish and chips". So this is what I feel like, I don't know what to call news like this. I could have called it "Tragedy in the family" or something along those lines but I thought that this title was more creative and reminds me of my father.

Now that he is gone, there is a big part of our lives missing. We are all staying strong and the three of us are coping well. Hopefully, mum will find strength to write more soon.

Love YFG x

Sunday, 6 July 2014


Seems like plans are being put in place and the FH might be coming home this week - but I think family privacy has just gone right out of the window and our front door might as well be replaced with a revolving door.  We are looking forward to care packages involving visits three or four times a day, physios, OT, heart failure nurses and oxygen teams.......

Don't get me wrong - it will be worth it to have him home, but blimey, it feels like it will be like living in public.  Any carers who have any tips to cope with this sort of "exposure", I am open to hearing them, as we have been quite a private family group over the last few years!

Much love to you all - sorry I haven't updated properly, but have to rest too.  Thanks for the prayers xxx

Friday, 4 July 2014

Grateful thanks again

Thank you for all the supportive comments, love and prayers that you are sending - you can't imagine how humbling it is, and how astounded the FH is that people all over are praying for him.  I'm too tired right now to say much, but I will just share that he has had a pacemaker fitted at PCH this afternoon, and is looking more stable than he was earlier.  Full story coming up soon.  Night all xx