Thursday, 13 July 2017

Death is not the end

Well for once, the rain that was hinted at in my last blog, actually arrived. Overnight Tuesday into Wednesday we had almost 14 hours of rain, although not always heavy. It was quite a shock to the system, after endless days of hot and sunny weather, to get up early yesterday morning to poor light, heavy rain, a cold N. wind and water pouring down the road in torrents. It was like we'd jumped into winter overnight, but all was not lost, by the afternoon we were back into very warm and sunny conditions and today is the same - the benefits of the rain will soon be gone again.
On Tuesday, I did something I rarely do and attended a funeral, that of my older cousin. He and his family live locally and I worked with him in the docks for many years and so I went and represented my side of the family. And for once it wasn't the usual format. Although it was held in the crematorium chapel there was no real religious nonsense, no vicar and no singing of hymns, etc. Just an independent guy who stood up and read out the family's prepared summary of my cousin's life and their own individual thoughts about him, played a couple of his favourite songs and that was it, simples, I take my hat off to the family. While sitting there listening to the various platitudes I found myself day-dreaming about what people would say about my life, would anybody be there to say anything! what songs would I want played, perhaps one such as Bob Dylan's below.

"when the storm clouds gather 'round you
and heavy rains descend
just remember that death is not the end
and all your dreams have vanished
and you don't know what's up the bend
just remember that death is not the end"

This morning as I wandered round the reserve enjoying the warmth and sun of a summer's day, I took some photos so that you see some of what I saw. The sea wall was heaving with butterflies, some are here.


 Small Tortoiseshell

This Heron was keeping guard on the other side of the fleet

Meadow Bindweed, seemed to be a favourite of several butterflies

Prickly Lettuce, much taller than me

Common Fleabane

A bit of green and smelly water left in a ditch by the barn

The neighbouring farmer might not be happy to see seed heads of these thistles blowing towards his fields soon but in the mean time the humming of hundreds of bees feeding on the flowers was really intense.

Lastly, the wheat fields across the Harty marshes are now looking really golden as they await the harvesters.


  1. Derek, I've been to a few 'humanist' funerals, no religion, just chat and modern music. All have been what the deceased would have wanted and those gathered felt more in touch with them in the process. The way to go I would say.

  2. Couldn't agree more Steve, I've also been to an open field type funeral where each grave has a small bush or tree planted on it and it all remains grassed over again and natural - great stuff.

  3. I agree too but one also has to think of the wishes of the person who has died and my beloved farmer was a traditionalist who wanted a 'proper funeral' as he saw it. There is no way I would have denied him that.

  4. I entirely agree Pat, it all has to be with the consent of the person who has died. I'd be well pissed off if, having set out how non-religous I want it to be they then went and had vicars and hymns.

  5. Sorry for your loss, Derek. My elderly sister-in-law (who I only ever met 3 times) died 2 weeks ago. Her family had no service, memorial, wake, funeral. Nothing. Seems sad. For our own sake, we made a donation to an organization that we knew meant a lot to her during her life as our own way of acknowledging her life and death. For myself - I won't care, I'll be dead. What ever brings comfort to those I leave behind is OK with me. I have let my druthers be known, so that Dennis has some guidance, which might offer him comfort in a way, but have also told him he can do anything he wants to do.

  6. That's an interesting point of view Wilma and I like the "whatever brings comfort to those I leave behind is OK with me" statement.

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  8. I am not familiar with that particular Dylan song. I shall go over to YouTube to find it. It was brave of the family to quickly arrange a non-religious ceremony. I have been to a couple of non-religious funerals where the formalities were conducted by a member of The British Humanist Society - specially brought in by the families concerned. In both instances he had spent time talking to family members beforehand - to get a true picture of the life of the deceased.

  9. There are some pretty awful covers of it on You Tube YP. I saw was at the Wembley concert in Oct 1987 when he sang it.

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