in the car as we came away.
As we sat in the sparse congregation,
I whispered to Ted
'Give it some wellie!'
We tried; starting off strongly,
then I'm sorry to say, the tears got in the way.
My lovely neighbour Margaret has died after
a brave battle with cancer.
From where I sit here in my cyber-eyrie,
looking out, I can see for miles.
This morning its misty: Bedgebury pinetum one way,
the lip of the Weald and Bewl Water the other.
If I stand up and look down I can see Margaret and Ken's
beautiful garden and kitchen window.
light in the window taken in snowy times
The window was the barometer over the years as to how they were.
As a nosy neighbour each morning I would look out to check...
window open... all's good in their world
window closed... I would start to worry.
This lovely Geordie couple were the one's with their warmth
and charm soothed like a dummy this fretful baby.
'Have I done the right thing moving here?'
Over the years I settled, Ted arrived and brightened my life.
We became more than neighbours, part of their extensive family.
I loved them, I really did.
We were happy paddling our little
canoe against the tide of snobbery.
What did we care!
As Margaret became increasingly frail, I would take Ken
to the hospital for his eye injections.
Our perhaps not very original refrain was, we were
off to Hastings for fish and chips.
I would be my usual irreverent self
making Margaret laugh.
Very often I would walk away and think
'Wish I hadn't said that!'
She would say
'Linda, you're a tonic!'
We talked about dying, perhaps she could talk to
me better than most, because I don't have a problem
with that most taboo of subjects.
'You planning on bucking the trend Margaret?'
Issued out of my rosebud lips.
Subtle... me, never.
She's gone and the world's suddenly
drab as a consequence.
I will not cease from mental fight
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.