Friday, October 14, 2016

A jollier note.


Sophie can see no earthly reason why she shouldn't go for long walks, savage her brother and hare around the garden. She howls to make it absolutely clear she's ready for anything. We put on an Adaptil collar to see if that makes her less 'demonstrative'. 


She wakes wearing her feisty face and keeps it all day.


The Very Old Farmers internment takes place in the afternoon. It is what the Scots would call a 'dreich' affair. Four shaven headed undertakers in ill fitting polyester suits carry the coffin. They look like airport limo drivers ( couldn't they have done up their ties ? ). The only music a French song about Grandpa going to heaven. This is played on a boom box set up on a small card table by the cemetery gate. On the third attempt the chief pall bearer finds the right track on the CD. On the first go we get four bars of Don't cry for me Argentina, on the second three bars of Non, je ne regrette rien. The mourners look at their feet. No eulogy,  no speech by the son, no refreshments afterwards. The mayor mutters a few words to fill the void as the coffin is lowered into the ground. 

It seems the son has been responsible for the ceremony and has opted for the absolute 'no frills' option.

We invite him ( out of courtesy ) back to the house for a glass of champagne. He declines. '' No thanks Mate. I've got things to do ". The villagers are delighted to join us.

When I take Bob on his evening walk I notice that a For Sale sign has been prominently positioned on the Very Old Farmers front door.


On a jollier note the village monthly newsletter informs us that the lady with the beehive hairdo has grown a tomato weighing 1.152 kilos.



32 comments:

  1. In the third picture, Sophie looks like she rolled out of her bed! It was very kind of The Font and you to invite the Villagers to your home, to toast The Very Old Farmer.

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    1. A funeral can't end on such a down note.

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  2. Sophie wears the dishevelled diva look exceedingly well.

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  3. I've been away the last few days, reading on my iPad (your blog is part of my morning routine). I was glad I was alone when I read of the death of the Very Old Farmer, because I wept. You write to descriptively of your neighbours that you let us into their lives as well as your own. Thank you, and for your humanity.

    Glad to see Sophie's on the up

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    1. The Very Old Farmer was one of a dying , tough as nails, uncomplaining, breed.

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  4. Those shots of Sophie are priceless.
    Does the son still live nearby? He must be getting up there in age as well. Not everybody rises to these occasions, though with the elderly a funeral isn't exactly a surprise--you kind of get ready for it. It was very classy of you to invite the attendees for a drink.
    Your village is quite active. Ours is much bigger--1000 people now--yet our newsletter comes only twice a year.

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    1. The son is probably in his mid-60's. lives in Toulouse and seems keen to sell the family farm asap.

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    2. How sad. It almost smacks of "couldn't wait for the old man to die and get the inheritance". Glad you stepped in to offer proper respect.
      At the one French funeral we have attended the gathering afterwards was so different to the typical English funeral, just a glass of Vouvray, a sweet biscuit and on your way.
      Sophie does look a bit fed up.

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  5. Poor Sophie, it's all getting a bit too much isn't it...and now the wretched big black collar. When will you realise that even if she can't go on long walks yet, she ought to be allowed at least one savaging of her brother, a day !
    What a sad affair the Very Old Farmer's funeral sounds - the son obviously couldn't wait to get his hands on the property and put the 'For Sale' sign up. Thank goodness for you, 'The Font', and your champagne, Angus.

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  6. What a shame the Very Old Farmer's son didn't arrange a better send off. What could be more important than paying proper respect? The older I get, the more strongly I feel this!
    Cheers (from Lugano), Gail.

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  7. What a shame the Very Old Farmer's son didn't arrange a better send off. What could be more important than paying proper respect? The older I get, the more strongly I feel this!
    Cheers (from Lugano), Gail.

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    1. In the UK there would be some sort of commemoration and a glass of something afterwards. Here, of course, it is done differently.

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  8. Because of your blog, the very old farmer has been mourned around the world with much respect. Angus, you keep doing good in a world that sorely needs it, thank you.

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  9. I do hope the adaptil helps. And sad to hear of the demise of the very old farmer - sadder still to hear how depressing the funeral was. I'm glad he had such good neighbours.

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    1. Yes, the Adaptil does seem to have a calming effect. Much needed now that the patient thinks she can run the marathon !

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    2. Great - Just reading a new vet article that mentions these - www.stoplik.com and www.likshield.com ... Might be worth a look for the next surgical session?

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    3. Oh, and I just remembered mention of those Thunder Shirts that are supposed to be relaxing for dogs/cats. No personal experience and may be challenging or fruitless for the Diva... xo

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  10. Sad to hear that the Very Old Farmer had such a pitiful goodbye. He has been a character on the little stage of your blog for such a long time that I feel the loss despite the distance. Your champagne reception was a lovely gesture. Chin rubs to Sophie.

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  11. How sad that the Very Old Farmer's funeral was so lacking in respect and emotion from his son. But at least the village, with the ringing of the bells for his journey, showed the love his son did not. As others have said, we take the villagers you sketch so warmly in your blog into our hearts so we feel very sad when they leave us. As for the diva, the next few weeks may be even more challenging for you (and her) than the previous ones... bonne chance as she recovers!!! xxxx

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  12. RIP Very Old Farmer! He was lucky to have kind neighbors who celebrated his life with a champagne send-off.

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    1. In Scotland a funeral without a glass or two of something to toast the memory would be quite unthinkable.

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  13. I remember the lovely note he sent to you after your kindness at New Years once. I thought how lovely it was, so classy yet simple. You and the font are so kind to your villagers. Cheers. Yes the very old farmer is being mourned around the world.

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  14. Ah, that's such a sad way to end a honorable and wonderful life. Well done for hosting the "afters".

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    1. Maybe it's a Celtic thing but a funeral without a toast to absent friends is unthinkable. The Scots know that the first glass is when the process of being thankful and moving on starts.

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  15. Glad the Villagers gave him a send-off.

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  16. The Very Old Farmer may be gone but he will have the last laugh where his son is concerned.
    Karma to the rescue!

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  17. Oh, so sad to hear of that pitiful service for the VOF, bless his sweet old heart. I send my love to Heaven for him, where he is certainly with his beloved wife again. At last he will join her, and no more suffering. Sophie, you hang in there dahling! xo

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  18. The arranged service for the VOF was a disgrace! Better nothing than something so disrespectful. Shame on the deplorable spawn that calls itself a son. And having the for sale sign placed....The sheer nerve! That odious being is the absolute limit! Refusing a simple toast was a slap in the face to both his father and you. Angus. As the poster "Unknown" said, the VOF is being mourned around the world with respect.

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  19. I haven't been reading much of late, but I did like the Very Old Farmer very much and was sad to see him go. I recall some local fellows who didn't know what to do for their parent, so they did nothing, but there were usually relatives around to pick up the slack. But I can't imagine the VOF getting upset over it all. He might say C'est la vie and have some good heavenly meet-ups planned! Jo and Stella in MN USA

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