Globe trotting

Hi folks, mums funeral passed off on Thursday 20th September. It all went just as we wished it to. There were no dark clothes nor gnashing of teeth or rending of cloth and no professional mourners. The church was packed and almost every one wore light and colourful clothes and for those who did wear black, outlandish ties compensated. I wore a light coloured jacket, my Pink Panther tie and my leather cowboy hat, the service was brilliant and the minister and reader injected as much humour as they could into what could have been a sombre occasion.

From the church we went to the crematorium and as we all filed in, Monty Pythons “Always look on the bright side of life”, boomed from the loudspeakers. It was hard not to smile and as we filed out we were treated to a rousing rendition of Vera Lynn’s “We’ll meet again”. The wake was held at a nearby club and by 7pm those who could still stand came back to Château Ghastanbury where we had a final bonfire and a barbecue in her honour. It all ended in good humoured chaos at around 2am. I feel sure she would have been proud of the send off we gave her.

Today has been spent attending to all the official details such as paying for the funeral service and suchlike. I attempted to find the building society that the mortgage was held with only to find they have closed down and the solicitors I used for transferring names on the deeds have moved. It has been a frustrating day with lots of leg work and little to show for it. Attempts to ring banks direct were met with call centres and I experienced many accents I did not understand

Ok what happens next I hear you say? Well life goes on and I have decided not to make any decisions for at least 12 months. I don’t want to take any rebound action that I might regret for the rest of my life; however I am going to start travelling again next April when my holiday allowance and my finances are both up to the strain of it. I feel fairly certain that within 2 years I will have sold Château Ghastanbury and will be moving on somewhere else. For now the traveller is going to Belize in November to check on some things that we both think are too good to be true. I would be going with him but I don’t have many holidays left. Depending upon what he finds I may fly out there in April to check things out for myself and start globe trotting again.

The Marchioness of Ghastanbury

It has been a busy time with friends, family and well wishers stopping by to express condolences and share memories. Chateau Ghastanbury is awash with cards and the phone lines have not stopped ringing. The funeral arrangements are; service to be held on Thursday morning the 20th September 2007 at 10-30am at St Chads Church followed by a short service at Landican Crematorium.  In memory of a wonderful and colourful lady her family respectfully ask that no black is worn. We have no wish to mourn Elsie’s passing but would rather celebrate the eventful life she has lived. I feel 100% certain she would not want to see people in mourning or for them to be sad at her passing. For as long as I have been able to recognise when mum was sad, I have very few memories of her actually being so. She was a cheerful and colourful lady who lived life to the full as much as she was able.

Indeed she had seen many things that no one else will ever see. For example she was born during the Great War, lived through the depression of the thirties, was active in the Second World War with the land army, saw, the first atomic bomb, the rise and fall of the Berlin wall the first man on the moon, lived through a century and saw the birth of a new millennium. During all of this she got married had two sons and managed to outlive her brother and sister and travelled extensively. She was one of the happiest people I ever knew and was a wonderful mother and an even better friend. I have placed an album of photographs within the main gallery and this album will be added to over the coming weeks.

For those of you who cannot attend the funeral service would you please raise a glass and drink a toast to Elsie, The Marchioness of Ghastanbury.


Mum pased away peacefully in her sleep at 23-10 on Wednesday 12 September 2007.  Myself, BC and several of mums friends had gone in to see her prior to her demise at approximately 19-00 hours and we left at around 20-15. At that point she genuinely believed she was getting better and coming home. I am glad that she went peacefully and in the belief that nothing was drastically wrong instead of being frightend because she was connected to tubes and machines and fearing the worst. The hospital rang at 23-20 to inform me of her departure and I went back to the hospital to see Mum and gave her still warm body a last cuddle and a hug and said my final farewells. This mainly consisted of telling her how wonderful she had been and how much I would miss her.

I will be writing a tribute and eulogy at some point over the next few days and a selection of photographs will be posted in the gallery. For now the flag is flying at halfmast over Chateau Ghastanbury. Details of her funeral and wake will be posted as soon as I have made the arrangements. Until then I hope that there is a God and she has genuinely gone to a better place.

RIP Elsie Born 22-06-1916 Died 12-09-2007

The beginning of the end

I have been to the hospital this afternoon to see how mum is doing and its clear she is not doing well at all. Her heart is not capeable of coping with the excess fluid and heart failure is imminent. The doctors have told me that they will make no attempt to resuscitate her or restart her heart when it finally stops as it would be kinder to let her go. I have also been told that she wont be coming home again which is what I suspected earlier on in the week but I could not get anyone to confirm this. In short its the beginning of the end.

An update

Regular readers of this blog will realise that there has not been a regular update for some time. Allow me to explain and jog some memories. Some time shortly after Ghastanbury in June, mum was moved down stairs as she was no longer fit enough to climb the stairs each night. A fortnight ago my brother came to stay with me and together we went to see her GP. He was able to tell me that due to a fluttering heart condition and low blood pressure there was nothing they could do to reduce the fluid she was retaining. Each medication had a different form of side effect that she was unable to cope with.  

Her deterioration since, has been swift and she is now in hospital having entered last Thursday with blood loss.  Her lung capacity has been greatly diminished by the fact that her lungs are filling up with fluid due to the failure of her kidneys. She has oxygen and is on both a saline and a blood drip. I spoke to the nurses this evening and asked them if she was ever coming home. The nurses declined to comment and referred me to the consultant who I have yet to make an appointment with. However I am mindful of what her GP said about this being as good as it was going to get.

I asked him at the time how much time she had left and he said “how long is a piece of string”. I asked what the worst scenario was and he replied something along the lines of, If she is lucky she will pass away painlessly in her sleep having drowned in her own fluids. It may be some time before I can post another entry but I will try and keep everyone updated as much as I can.