Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Lustily we sang...

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.


  1. A sad time, Linda. You have lost a good friend and a large part of your daily life.
    So sorry.

  2. Tomorrow is an important day Marty. I take Ken to have a cataract operation, then one day who knows, we WILL get to Hastings for our fish and chips.


  3. Life sometimes is just too sad for words. You have a lot of happy memories of your times together. Hope Ken's op goes well. x

  4. Just off now Jayne. It will be so much better for Ken to be able to see more clearly. Another op on the other eye to come... then who knows where we'll go? One of his daughters is taking him back to Durham in June. Ted and I are here for back-up... garden centres for Ken to get his fix of chips is high on the agenda...


  5. Beautiful words LL! A trip to Hastings - chips or no chips - is one of my favourite treats. And, come to think of it, I don't think I've ever met a Geordie snob! I think they are all here in Yorkshire.

    1. Fish and chips next...

      Ken had a long eight hour day and cataract op. yesterday... not bad going for a man in his eighties, who just two days before attended his wife's funeral. They don't make them like that anymore. Bless him.



  6. So sad to lose a good friend in such a way. Death is often a welcome release isn't it?Lucky for Ken he has you there for support.

    1. I'm looking out now to see if the light's on... if I had net curtains I'd definitely twitch them...


  7. I am so sorry. I hope Ken's op went well.

    By the way, Geordies are great. I married one.

    1. It was a long day for us, he I think enjoyed all the chat from his fellow out-patients. It took his mind off Margaret for a while.

      A woman of excellent taste if I may say so!