Tuesday, December 28, 2021

A duty.

The Old Farmer shows up at the front gate. He's an hour early and is impatient to get going. 'Are you ready ?' I ask. He nods. For the funeral he's wearing a red fleece jacket , a green  check shirt, blue track suit trousers, a brown cap and sandals. As a nod to the chilly weather he's wearing orange socks with his sandals. Today, for the first time he's using a walking stick.

Everyone at the crematorium had to be masked and seated apart. This makes the smattering of neighbours and acquaintances look even sparser. Music comes from a boom box. Ave Maria is played. This must be a popular choice as the tape has stretched with use giving the music an unusual tempo. The day, which had started off bright has turned into rain. There is a chance to say something. I think of the Desmond Tutu line ' We may be surprised at the people we meet in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low' but the sentiment might be lost in translation.  'Repose en paix, monte dans la gloire' has to suffice.  Farewells don't need to be scripted affairs, simple and heartfelt is all that matters.

By five o'clock night is drawing in and the lowering skies signal it's time to head home. 

So passes another day in a little village in deepest, deepest France profonde where nothing ever happens ... until it does.

A Scottish song with American accents. After Advent  a change of gear towards Hogmanay and thoughts of Scotland and the excitement of a New Year :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXu1U-sTQ_w


WFT Nobby said...

Thw funeral- so very sad. I know you'll be doing your best to support the Old Farmer as far as you can.
As for today's song, I'm curious to know what your American readers thought of the accents. The only aspect that struck a wrong note to me was (inevitably) 'Lock' Lomond.
Cheers, Gail.

Angus said...

Yes, 'Loch' is a difficult one. The alternative version to Lock and much loved by Hollywood is the gutural Loccchhhhh sound.

Coppa's girl said...

Such a sad occasion for the Old Farmer, I wonder how he will cope without his lady friend? It must be a relief to know that he has you near at hand, Angus.
Lovely frosty morning photos of Sophie.

Taste of France said...

Not that there's a particularly good time to die, but this does seem to be a bad one. Holidays plus Covid. Funerals are for the living, and a sparsely attended one can be difficult. In my village, the local carpenter made the pine coffins, and the entire populace crowded in and outside the church, then marched down the main street (a departemental, thus stopping significant traffic) to the cemetery. It was a big show of solidarity for the family. Until Covid, which made the church the superspreader point of the village.
The lady friend had what the French call "une belle morte." Sudden, quick, and probably mostly painless. No IV tubes, painkiller haze or prolonged suffering.
You and the Font are good friends for the Old Farmer to have.

Fay said...

Listening to the accents, I wondered about different Scottish dialects, finding this one "soft." I didn't notice anything wrong, except possibly "Lock," which I have notice receives various renditions.

Fay said...

At least one can "blame" Covid, as well as the unexpected timing, for the sparse attendance, and, perhaps, in truth, because many of the Old Farmer and his Lady's friends are already gone. It will be a hard New Year for him.

Diaday said...

Peace be wtih you, dear Old Farmer; rest in peace, Lady Friend.

Travel said...

Thank you for being there for your neighbor,

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM,
Thank you Angus, on behalf of TOF.

I note the hound and his fox were damaging that song for the sake of the Irish Day in March... hey ho... YAM xx