Photos of J at parties today.
Went to Sainsbury’s in Kidlington early on to sort out some of the catering for the wake. Listened to the music for the funeral service in the car. Back home Lucy was glued to the laptop, refreshing her e-mail every few minutes, waiting for an message from the University of York which will allow her to apply for her accommodation.
Continued work on the gate since it was another nice day but heavy rain is forecast for tomorrow. Assembled the slats into the basic frame and then stained it with Ronseal, does-what-it-says-on-the-tin. I hope the chap (or woman) who dreamt up that slogan took a huge payoff, early retirement and is now sitting on a beach with a cocktail. I hear it quoted at work so often. Juliet usually did any painting jobs, which is why I impatiently splashed it on.
Did lots more odd jobs – weeding, clearing a gutter, sweeping up, clearing up. Lucy and I cleaned the guinea pigs out for the first time. Yesterday we’d put them in their run on the grass for the first time (or was it the day before? not so very important anyway). The stand for the cage arrived this morning – along with another complete cage – and I quickly assembled it. We carried the piggies in their cage through the house and onto the decking, where I can see they will become a conversation piece at the wake.
Lucy’s e-mail arrived in the evening, but to her disappointment she could not secure a self-catered room at her favoured college (ie accommodation college). This means that most meals will be provided for her. I’m actually OK with that, it’s one less thing to worry about. Also no ensuite room – just a washbasin. Well, shared bathrooms are part of student life, surely?
A day of very hard physical work over many hours and after a shower, the girls’ infamous Tuna Puff and a few bottles of beer, I unwisely opened Juliet’s box of letters. I just wanted to “hear” her speaking to me, so I opened the two entitled “How to help Lucy / Alice with a problem“. Each was about two and half pages of detailed information, each unique to either Lucy or Alice. J had written on the back of each envelope, a year later in January this year that “they have grown up since this“. I think it was Juliet’s way of trying to pass on what came naturally to her as a teacher and mother, rather like me trying to document some IT procedure or practice that otherwise comes naturally, or through experience. The girls arrived with tissues. We chatted for a little while and I absent-mindedly started looking through some cards on J’s dressing table. “Dad, you’re picking scabs” said wise Alice, “stop it”.