weeping beech tree

We need to talk about my funeral. No, really, we do. I’m not expecting it to be imminent (I REALLY HOPE NOT!) – but I’m not burying my head (or any other part of me) in the sand, pretending it ain’t going to happen. As the old saying goes, ‘Nothing is certain but death and taxes.’ (And having just paid my half-year tax bill, as many self-employed people have, I know just how annoyingly unavoidable those are!) Read More…

What Not to Say


Words are powerful. We should not be careless with them; yet we fling them around like so much confetti. My darling dad died last week. I am in pieces but my heart is broken into yet more fragments every time somebody says to me, “It’s for the best. He was ninety. His time had come.”

And so I must nod my head and agree that yes, it is for the best because to say otherwise would sound selfish, even callous. Whereas, in truth, I want to cry, “Whose best? Certainly not mine.”

None of those people knew my dad so all they could see was a number; ninety. Days before he died, he was emailing, chatting on his mobile phone, watching Sky Sport and listening to his beloved musicals. He wasn’t exactly pleased about being old (for a start, he couldn’t bear old people, saying they were formidably dull) but he bore its indignities with good grace. His mind was sharp as a whip, it was his body that was crumbling around him. “It’s no fun, darling. Do try not to do it.”
Read More…