Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Into the yellow leaf...

I'm back from Switzerland, after my cousin's funeral.

It was a lovely time, despite the lashing rain and freezing temperatures.

Her four children and myself talked endlessly about times gone by , mulled over old pictures ( who was that?) and remembered odd things ( there should have been an enormous bowl of ice cubes on the dining table to add to her white wine.)

We all threw a white rose into the grave and some earth, and her eldest son said a few words, followed by me, who had known her longest. We both said to remember that she loved us all in her own way, and I reminded her children that she was very proud of them too.

Then we all went to the Hotel du Lac for an excellent lunch amidst general bonhomie.

The evening was spent back at her magnificent Maison de Maitre, making pasta and heating up the ubiquitous cheese tarts. No one had been there for 2 years, but the vegetable patch was still flourishing, growing produce for the gardener.

Her younger son ( No.4) and my two eldest ( Ms Lear Senior and Mrs. Rock God) had great laughs remembering all the holidays they had together. My children were always very envious of No.4 because he was allowed to do practically anything he wanted , whilst mine were always being circumscribed.

As No.4 said, " Well, that's blind indifference in upbringing." He was not wrong.

I do hope her four children and our family remain friends. I knew her all her life, and all of her children all their lives.

As we left the table, No.4 clicked his fingers and shouted " Staff! Staff!" which had always been his mother's way of dealing with anything.

It raised a good laugh but brought a tear to more than just my eye.