It’s another hot day here, the sun is blazing in through the skylight of my studio and onto the computer screen, making it hard to read what I’m typing. I need to cut a big piece of card to tape to the skylight to keep things in the shade.
An occasional cloud blocks the sun for a minute or two, but it doesn’t last and the glare returns.
Because of my injured ankle, I haven’t been able to take my daily exercise but decided to walk, (with the aid of a walking stick,) down the lane outside our house today. It proved to be very uncomfortable as my ankle still pains me, but I need to try to exercise as my blood-sugar levels have been too high of late. Regular but gentle exercise is essential when you have diabetes. It helps keep the sugar levels under control. But stress and anxiety raises them...
The day before Mum’s funeral, we suffered another car breakdown. We were just about to go to the village Co-op in Emi’s car but it wouldn’t start, or at least it tried to but spluttered out. I think it could be a return of the engine problem we had on the motorway a couple of months ago. This time it happened in our back garden so we’re lucky that it wasn’t while we were driving to Wakefield for the funeral. That would have been a total disaster. Anyway, we used my car instead.
I’ve been in touch with the garage where we have our cars serviced and repaired. They’re closed due to the pandemic but I’ve emailed the garage’s owner and he will come out to our house early next week to try and, hopefully, fix it.
I’ve been working on a song that has a tongue-in-cheek lyric about the current lockdown situation. It's kind of funny but quite groovy too. When it’s finished I might put it on my website for fans to listen to for free. Must create a video of some sort for it though.
I still haven’t sorted through the memorabilia I brought from my Mum’s house. I keep putting it off, probably because it’s still an emotionally raw time for me. But there are a few more photographs amongst it that might fit into the tribute memorial video I’m making for the website.
Emi had created some beautiful flower arrangements for Mum’s funeral. (See photo’s attached to this journal entry.) She had included some flowers picked from Mum’s garden and our own garden. After the funeral we took the flowers to my brother Ian’s grave at Wakefield’s Cemetery and laid them in front of his headstone. He died in 2006 but it seems like only yesterday that Mum and I stood by his graveside, brokenhearted, watching his casket being lowered into the ground. Mum, Emi and I have visited Ian's grave quite often since that day, bringing new flower arrangements and cleaning the headstone.
We are going to try and arrange for my Mum’s ashes to be interred next to Ian’s resting place, which is what she had asked for. For now though, her ashes will be kept at the funeral home until such time as we can have a formal internment and a family gathering to celebrate her life. Unfortunately, no one knows when the current social distancing restrictions will be lifted, so it could be some time yet before a proper gathering will become possible.
So now, as I’ve mentioned before, it’s just me, the last living member of a family that was established in 1948 when I was born. All other family members are gone. There’s no one left from the 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s that can reminisce with me about those happy times.
One thing I do know is that the child I once was is still here, inside me. No matter how old we get, a part of us remains a child, sometimes lost and frightened, sometimes wide-eyed and playful, but always with the fear of losing our parents.
Now this journal is done for today. I have to take a prescription to the doctor’s surgery. I’ve run out of some of the essential medication I need. Should have done it a couple of days ago but...
other things on my mind.
Mum with Whiskey, the West Highland White Terrier our family had in the early 1960s. This photograph was taken at the caravan site at Skipsea on the East Coast of Yorkshire where my parents had a caravan. The Austin Cambridge car was my Dad's.
One of the flower arrangements made by Emiko for Mum's funeral.
Another floral arrangement made by Emi for Mum's funeral.
And another flower arrangement made by Emi for Mum's funeral.
My son Elliot and myself at the crematorium after Mum's funeral service.
My grandson Luke holding one of Emi's flower arrangements at the Crematorium.
Mum with my eldest daughter Julia. Photo' taken backstage at my 70th birthday concert at the Clothworker's Hall in Leeds, 2018.