silverstone

Every farewell combines loss and new freedom.

We took my FiL to Silverstone

[… the Home of British Motor Racing!]

yesterday and we left him there.  For always and eternity he’ll be zooming alongside cars around the track, which is fitting for a man who so loved watching his motor racing.  Now he has the wind in his hair and the excruciating engine loudness in his ears forever. 

It was quite nice actually.  It wasn’t the emotional farewell that I thought it might be.  As my MiL says, it was the funeral itself which was the hardest, and since the funeral we’ve all had three months to get used to the idea that he’s gone and he won’t be back.  We even got to drive onto, and stand on, the Start/Finish Straight, something he never got to do himself.  Groovy.

Afterwards the seven of us ate lunch in the sunshine at a local pub.  I laughed when I saw this sign

greenman

because I’m a bit of a naive idiot sometimes and I truly believed that the 8 days a week was a genuine mistake.  Don’t you wish your girlfriend was thick like me? </sings>  So anyways, it’s been bugging me ever since my brain admitted that it was supposed to be a joke, because it’s just not funny.  And it’s certainly not clever.  There wasn’t even a green man behind the bar …

Am I missing something?

I know that there are still some really emotional days to come.  December will be a tough month because not only does it bring with it Christmas, but it also would have been the month in which my parents-in-law would have celebrated thirty-five years of marriage. 

Oh, and apparently Christmas is cancelled anyway.

*gasp*

I’m sure she doesn’t mean it, but it upsets me when she says it because a) he wouldn’t have wanted her to think this way, b) she can’t spend such a magical time wallowing in her grief and c) I don’t want to be made to feel that I can’t enjoy my most favourite time of year.  I’m being selfish again.  Still, there’s five months till decisions need to be made so I’m sure that things will be looking brighter by then.

It sounds horrid, but despite the tragic circumstances, some good has come out of it.  My MiL now has the bestest pension ever, she received a huge lump sum payout, and she’s talking about taking us to Australia to visit some members of her family in a couple of years.  It doesn’t mean that she/we wouldn’t give it all back in order for him to return to us, but …

Of course, that only brings its own problems into the equation … flying?  To Australia?  Being in a tin can, held up by nothing, for hours?  I don’t think so …

please God, make me more grateful xxx Elsabeth

What I would have said if I was eight.

By Elizabeth the Bright Pink Lobster, aged not young enough and three hundred and sixty-four days.

On Saturday me and my mummy and my baby brother went to a big race track.  It was four hours away and the sun burnt me through the car window.  We watched some cars whizzing along.

zzzooom zzzooom zzzooom.

Then my mummy spoke to a stranger called Hans Stuck and she got me his autograph.  He was nearly as old as her!  Once upon a time he was a famous driver but now he is just a little old man signing things.  Then we saw the geraniums from my Uncle John’s nursery on the podium.  They were pretty.

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We must have walked a trillion zillion miles!  Then we went to the car and it was a long way away and we had to walk through a campsite and we thought the man having a wee-wee had stolen my mummy but he hadn’t, she was just plodding along slowly. 

Then we went home.  And it was good.

On Sunday my mummy made me get up before the birds had started singing.  The big race track wasn’t four hours away, it was less than two.  The people wearing the bright tops were a lot more organised but I don’t think they liked being up so early either because they didn’t smile.  We got there in time for breakfast at eight o’clock and we drank coffee out of flasks, just like old people do. 

Then we went and found our seats.  My mummy and my baby brother had to leave us because they had seats in a different place [Stowe].  Me and my blokey sat in the Hanger Straight and we watched the Porche race and it was good.

zzzooom zzzooom zzzooom.

Then the F1 drivers came past and we waved at them and they waved back.  They weren’t driving, they were just standing on a lorry.

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Then the Red Arrows flew overheard and they went upside down and blew red white and blue smoke from their bottoms and it was good.  They made a heart.  It was pretty.

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Then we watched the race.

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zzzooom zzzooom zzzooom.

It was fun.  Lewis Hamilton only came third.  I took my Lewis Hamilton cap off to show my disgust.  I saw a picture of Trulli and I like him because I am a shallow girl and so now I don’t like Lewis anymore.  Then we started the long walk back to the car.  I got angry with my blokey because I was hungry and tired and sunburnt.  But then we made up because he loves me and I love him. 

My mummy bought me a keyring of a bear wearing the Toyota colours.  I love my keyring. 

Then we went home.  And it was good.

[this post is brought to you in memory of my FiL for whom we bought the tickets in the spring, may he rest in peace … I would also like to take this opportunity to apologise to my primary school teachers for using the words then and and far too much and for my lack of punctuation …  also, my sunburn f.ucking hurts … oh, and there are oodles of presents scattered around the house all screaming, Open Me! Open Me! …]

please God bless my sunburn and the blokey’s dad xxx Elsabeth

Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.

This last week has seemed so matter-of-fact that it’s been almost surreal. 

There’s been bank statements to rifle through, unexpected loans to discover, worries about how a non-driver [my MiL] will cope living in a tiny village with no shop and no bus route to speak of, considerations of a car that needs selling and a caravan that needs staying in, vicars to meet and sympathy cards to wade through …

I’ve been spared most of it.  My life has continued in as near normal a way as possible.  There’s a part of me who feels like an outsider stepping on toes and getting in the way, although I do know that I’m not.  I don’t know how they truly feel because I’ve never had to suffer the anguish of losing someone in my immediate family.  I only know how sad I am and how much I shall miss him, and that can’t begin to compare with how they feel.  Even with the close family members whom I have lost it hasn’t been the same.  My three grandparents all reached the age of ninety and both my aunts suffered from cancer – all those deaths were expected for many weeks, if not months, before they occurred.  That’s not to say that they were any less painful, but they were different. 

I think that it’s finally beginning to sink in that he won’t be sitting in his chair, watching his Grand Prix, letting us borrow maps from where he worked [which he wasn’t supposed to do, no sir], for me at least.  He won’t get to watch his new ‘Allo ‘Allo! DVDs, enjoy lunch at The Ritz [a Christmas present from my BiL] or watch the cars whizz by at Silverstone [his sixtieth birthday present from all of us] this year. 

This week we have the funeral to get through, and that will be tough.  And [if you’ll excuse the awful pun] that will be the final nail in the coffin.  Once that is over it’s do or die, sink or swim … there’s a finality there that doesn’t bear thinking about even though it’s natural.  Life has to go on. 

That saddens me … that life continues on.  The world continues spinning and people go about their daily business.  That even those affected by death still need to eat, drink and sleep.  That we can still laugh and find happiness even at a time when we should be feeling miserable.  But I suspect that’s natural.  Survival instincts.  Without those instincts the human race would have died out long ago. 

But it’s still sad.

[in other news, i’m pissed off with something that’s happened at work, i feel absolutely drained, i finally have ‘proper’ hayfever (after many years where it was simply ‘pretend’ hayfever), i desperately need to sort out the cupboard under the stairs and i also need to look after my blokey, and why-oh-why were the manics on some dodgy political type but let’s talk about anything sunday morning show?  oh, and who will do the tiling now?]

please God bless the family as they get through this coming week xxx Elsabeth