Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Funeral games...

To the funeral of Uncle Geoff. A lovely service - he was sent on his merry way with The Entertainer, a tune he used to play at the start of piano recitals and certainly the right kind of piano rag to bring a smile to the face. Naturally, we decamped to the pub where a right old time was had by all and old stories were recounted about Geoff's childhood, his life as a Royal Marine and his crazy antics around the Yorkshire seaside town of Hornsea, where he was well known because he took to the streets on a rather fine horse. My mum's brother, he was one of 11 siblings. They all lived in a modest terrace house, where they shared beds and generally tripped over each other in cramped conditions. During the Second World War, they had a bomb shelter inside the house - some sort of cage arrangement in 'the best room'. Not the most sensible idea I've ever heard. Good job their house didn't take a direct hit, then, otherwise the family story might have ended prematurely. Saturday nights, round at Aunt Win's, they'd hold parties that would attract the entire neighbourhood - they had a piano and most of the Salisbury kids could knock out a decent tune.

There was another funeral party in the pub today and midway through our proceedings a whistle blew and some gent we didn't know said a few words "for me dad. You all know what he went through." Which we didn't, of course, but it didn't seem right to mention it. The speaker, we found out, was a teacher of health and social sciences. A passionate monologue was spoken, including a rant about the NHS. "I know that many of you here have suffered at the hands of such a terrible service," he said, before totally trashing the workings of Hull Royal Infirmary. At this some of our party lost interest and started talking loudly. In the end, though, we were brought back into this fold we had nothing to do with by the simple toast, "let's raise a glass...to Brian." To Brian indeed, whoever he was. I wonder what they thought of us and whether they thought we were just a bunch of funeral crashers.

No comments: