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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

Packing, Straightening and Laying to Rest - Day 286 - 287

A mixed few days, packing, straightening and laying to rest and unfortunately a rather sad experience.

Not much to report on Day 286. We packed our bags, seems to have far, far more than we arrived with. Oh dear. We need to do some serious sorting to get back to our 7kg of luggage each! I went off to have a hair trim, my second in 9 months. Tim suggested that I got it styled straight so Rosie the hairdresser got the straighteners out, steam hissing up as she pulled the tongs down my hair. Mmmm…not me at all. Ah well, good to try these things and my hair will spring back to its normal wavy self once washed.

Eventually, we got the car packed after Tim visited Ray, a lovely elderly gentleman who lived across the street of our Airbnb who openly informed us he has vascular dementia. He used to be in the 17th Gurka division; in active service in the Malayan conflict. He wanted to show Tim his scorpion and giant centipede which were preserved in bottles. I am sure that he and his wife enjoyed Tim’s visit and it did jolt us how we could have visited our elderly neighbours more back in Warmington.

Our journey to my sister’s in Orpington was slow, well we did drive at the worst time of day, and got there an hour longer than anticipated. Dinner was ready, chatting occurred and an early bedtime ready for the early start in the morning.

Day 287, bleary-eyed we left at 6:10am, we really are not early birds and I am amazed that many people get up and leave for work at this ridiculous time of day! Martin drove us down to Alton, with traffic moving swiftly on the M25. We picked up his Dad and drove around the corner to a Pub for breakfast. Martin’s Dad Norman has had an interesting life, working in the civil service, he was also the Mayor and Ward Councillor for Ealing. Despite becoming frail physically, he is still very able mentally and we had some stimulating conversations with him about his life and life in general.

Time was ticking on and we needed to get down to Portsmouth for our ferry. We took Norman back to his flat, he had trouble with his phone so checked this out – yes, definitely something wrong, let’s hope BT sort things out, and Dawn resolved the issue of the missing chapters for his book he is writing on his computer. Martin had the engine ready and we jumped in to reach the ferry in time. Martin was surprised that his Dad didn’t ask us who the greatest English scientist was in the last 500 years and who wrote a book that has sold more than the Bible. Who would you have said? Stephen Hawkings was my choice, Charles Darwin was Tim’s. According to Norman none of these would have been right. His answer is Gilbert White. And Martin was telling us this just as we were driving through Selbourne, past this scientist’s home. Loving nature, this naturalist had said “earthworms, though in appearance a small and despicable link in the chain of nature, yet, if lost, would make a lamentable hole” Both Tim and I piped up that that is what they do now, make loads of holes. Haha, it tickled us anyway! We got onto the ferry and hadn’t long been sailing when it made a sudden stop. Mayday was heard over the Tannoy. It transpired that there was a man overboard. The emergency dingy was winched down right beside us and we watched as the two crew members struggled with the ropes and getting the motor started. Meanwhile, Dawn was on deck, getting some fresh air and could see a small crowd pointing out to the Solent to where the person had jumped and a ring had been thrown. Sadly, after the coast guards, the Navy, a rescue helicopter and nearby sailing vessels all searched to no avail, we carried on our journey with heavy hearts. We presumed that this person wanted to end their life from what we heard. How sad that people become desperate and cannot see another way to move forward in their life, yet who are we to judge? Very sad.

The reason we were travelling to the Isle of Wight was to scatter our Mum’s ashes, so it was already a poignant time. We reached our sister Jac’s place and walked down to The Old Fort in Seaview owned by Jac and Simon’s great friends Debbie and Pete. A delicious meal and wow what portions. I was glad I had salad and haven’t a clue how Dawn managed to woof down her massive chilli. We wandered down to the beach, watching some young boys with their prize collection of crabs in their bucket, and someone swimming in the sea, whilst chatting away.

Back to Jac and Simon’s and out in the garden. They had already prepared a bed for Mum’s ashes, digging up clumps of bulbs and separated them. A big hole was dug, Dawn played some music and us three sisters then laid Mum’s ashes to rest with our own private thoughts of our Mum, Doreen Mavis Greenaway. The bulbs were then placed back around the bed and time for a nice cup of tea. Luckily a smooth journey back to Orpington with no incidents on the ferry to our relief.

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