Monday, 5 August 2013

In the corner of a foreign field...

IF I should die, think only this of me.
 That there's some corner of a foreign field that is for ever England. 
 The Soldier,Rupert Brooke

I've been in France.

 Yes I know, ME traveling, amazing isn't it?.

A mad panic of selling virtually half my summer wardrobe on eBay to fund the last minute flights, getting a passport after 17 years (£81 now ?!! crikey) and sorting out dog sitters, chicken shutter-inners and other peoples gardens.
There was a reason for all this though and it wasn't good, sadly not a holiday.
My Daddy passed away.
 He had been very, very poorly after an operation that didn't go to plan.
I spent a few days over in scorching heat in the corner of a foreign field surrounded by acres of beautiful sunflowers, grape vines and old, old houses with sunbleached shutters in gorgeous shades of blue and green.
 I was with my lovely family and although it was an incredibly sad time it was also some of the best days I've spent with my brother, sisters and my brave mum in a very long time. Just us, no husbands, no kids.
Laughing, chatting, hugging.
  When something tragic happens, your emotions are all over the place and they are certainly heightened so funny things become hilarious and little bit sad things, become very sad.
I kept thinking my dad would go mad at us mucking about in the pool, swimming with the dog and talking in the garden until the early hours,watching amazing thunderstorms way past bedtime, exploding meteors and reminiscing about when we were kids but he'd of loved the fact that we all pulled together to look after mum and their house that is in the middle of no-where off the beaten track near Duras (and my mum doesn't drive!)
My brother and I took charge of the vast gardens and my sisters, the house and the cooking. I have never gardened in such heat (36 in the shade!) and never in my pyjamas that were ringing wet by lunchtime! The ground was like concrete, which I later found out when I managed to stick a hand fork through my gloves and finger instead.

I remember my dad best from when I was little, we'll quickly flit over the teenage years as I was vile and rebellious and tried the patience of a saint! Nevertheless I was a real daddy's girl, we all were. He named our sailing boat after us 'Sa'nicajac'  which has a bit of all our names in and many breezy days were spent fishing in Cornwall on it. My love of gardening comes from my Dad, he won prizes for his flowers at the local shows and was always a great source of knowledge that I could turn to. Although we didn't see much of each other when they moved abroad, your Dad is your Dad and it's like a little piece of you dies when they do.

I'm going back later this month for a couple of weeks with my brother and maybe bringing mum back with me to rainy old England. Maybe I'll see a bit more of this pretty area then.They had a lovely life and some lovely friends there, so I know that will be so hard for her to sell up and move back but France seems a very long way away when you need to get there quickly.
At the funeral, which was hastily sorted out within 2 days, they buggered up the music a bit and 'La Mer' by Charles Trenet managed to turn into a Boyzone song sang in Italian, I can hear my father tutting!...

so Dad..this is just for you. x

take it away Mr.Trennet…. 


  1. Thank you for sharing this. Im so sorry for your loss, Fathers and daughters are such a special relationship, I miss mine tremendously. But I am so pleased that you came away with some happy memories to treasure.

  2. A lovely post, and a beautiful tribute to your dear Dad. So sorry for you all, but it's lovely that you have all got together and had a happy time amidst all the sadness, in a beautiful part of the world. I just love those lines at the top ... they make the hairs on my neck prickle ....

    I'm sure your Mum is very glad that she has you all, and hopefully there will be lovely times together in the near future.

    Take care, lovely

    Love Claire xxx

    1. Thanks Claire, I remember that poem so well from school and even though, the only soldiering my Dad did was his National Service, the woods seemed very apt! x

  3. My heart goes out to you Sairer for your loss. Doesn't matter if you saw much of your dad at all, it doesn't change the loss you feel one bit. It's the finality of it that I find the hardest to get my head around. Your mum's very lucky to have such a close family around her. My mum has certainly needed us so much more through all the stages she's been through this last year coming to terms with it all.
    Best wishes to you my lovely.

    Lisa X

    1. Thanks Lisa, I'd just been poking my nose over at your blog thinking how lovely you looked in your sunnies! Preeeety laydee.
      I completely agree,It's the finality bit, I feel a bit guilty for being such a pain in the arse when I was younger and now those years have flown by and all of a sudden he's gone. My poor mum is so isolated over there we are taking it in turns to fly over for a while (not the easiest of places to get to!) They had been together since they were 17.My Pa would have been 80 next January. I just cannot begin to imagine how much that hurts. Anyway, thanks for your message, hope you've missed this horrid rain today over your way! xx

    2. Ha HA - preeety laydee indeed, that's about the first decent photo taken of me in months. All about the lighting and angles darling!
      Guilts normal I was told when I kept lathering myself in it. I think I was a pretty shitty daughter to be honest, but in reality I wasn't that bad really as neither were you, we just seem to have to bash ourselves up a bit, all part of grieving I guess. I'd email you, but I seem to have ended up on here instead so hope you don't mind. Be kind to yourself Sairer X

  4. Sorry for your loss. It is good that you all came together and are being there for your Mum, that is such a long time to be together. It will be a huge adjustment for her but I'm sure she appreciates all your help.

  5. How nice of you to share this difficult moment with us on Blogland. 'The Soldier' by Rupert Broke has a very special meaning for us as we are so faraway from home, it seems never to return even. If I could have chosen 2 things myself for such a bittersweet goodbye, it would have that and 'La Mer'!
    It sounds as if you Dad lived his life fully and you have much memories of happier times. Hang on to those!
    Sending thoughts and prayers to you and your family!
    God bless,

  6. I am so sorry for your loss. We have a tv program here in the states about a psychic medium. And whether or not one believes in such things, it always seems that whatever crap took place in life, it is smoothed over and forgotten by the person in spirit. So don't feel bad about the past, and isn't everyone vile at some point when they are young? Your tribute to your father more than compensates. Take care.

  7. So Sorry for your loss. How wonderful that you spent such wonderful time with your family.

  8. I am very sorry to hear of your sad and unexpected loss but this is a lovely memoir and tribute to your dad and I thank you for sharing it with us xxx

  9. Hello Sairer
    So so sorry for your loss.
    <3 What a wonderful tribute to your Dad...
    And I think your absolutely right, your Dad will be so proud of you all pulling together...
    Famous last words...I owe you an email BIG TIME!
    And I will write you
    Sending you loads of love
    God Bless
    LOVE PEACE enJOY all those wonderful memories of all those lovely times you shared with your Dad x

  10. Your dad will always be alive in your memories and thoughts. I know mine is and it has been 40 years.
    A touching post.

  11. Bless you all at this incredibly sad time....Grief can either pull us apart or for the most pull us together...Give your self time to heal and time to just be...You have the best job in the world for healing! ~ nature was my healing many, many years ago when I lot my dear Pa so very young...I have been popping in and out of your blog for many years now...And at this sad time just wanted to send a virtual hug....Summer kisses Maria x

  12. So sorry for your loss, hope all goes well for your mum.


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