While I was getting chilled to the knee-caps, The Beloved was on the high seas going to help repatriate Dau.I after her 5 year sojourn in
The following day, I represented The Institute at a careers fair down the road and got me a free lunch. I was reminded on return that the uncle of my oldest friend was coming home to rest that afternoon. He was as strangely eccentric chap - of horse-riding protestant stock from the Midlands like my own people and he was determined to be buried in the same County Wexford as my grandfather. The fact that he made only fleeting visits to the home place in Wexford and had actually died in Denmark made this desire only slightly awkward. Protestants don't mind being cremated and it's very easy to ship ashes - much easier than, for example, 100ml of shampoo. Indeed the uncle had died several weeks ago and Tuesday 22nd November had been picked a month previously to achieve maximum attendance by and convenience for his extended family. His devoted Danish friends had elected to drive themselves and the urn to the funeral obsequies and had booked tickets on the Fishguard ferry. They had to spend 23 hours in a B&B in Fishguard and missed the funeral! At least they could look out at the storm rather than slopping about in the middle of it. If this reminds you of the story of my father being late for his own funeral, it must be the way that I tell it. After classes and careers fair I drove the length of two counties to spend time with the family and arrived at the hotel about 30 minutes before the Danes and the leading man. One of the nephews whipped the urn up to his bedroom to decant some of the remains into a separate container. It turned out that not everyone was agreed about where Uncle should be laid to rest and the compromise was a split decision.
And although I'd been fed to the gills at lunchtime, I could hardly refuse to dine with the family after the partitioning was complete. Like many funerals for people who have passed away after a long life, the sadness was mixed with a certain levity as we reflected on the many wonderful tales that had accrued about another Anglo-Irish eccentric.