Mildred and Mavis Ride Again
To the Tip 04/08/2011
We have been busy in the garden today.  The sun has shone all day and there's not been a cloud in the sky.  One of those days when it's wonderful to be alive.  However, I now feel absolutely all in!  Mildred has been mithering (worrying) about an ornamental cherry tree that overhangs our neighbour's garden.  I said that we should get a man in, but Mildred went out and purchased a chainsaw!  Can you imagine it?  At least it was an electric one and not one of those very noisy petrol ones.  Needless to say Mildred wanted to be the one to use it first.  That suited me as I hate the things.  I had vision of arms and legs liberally scattered around the garden and was keen that they shouldn't be mine.  Parshal sent us some ear muffs and some goggles and Mildred, the intrepid little lumberjill did the first sensible thing that she has done in ages,  She went onto Youtube and studied how to use a chainsaw safely.

3 hours later and the garden was strewn with miscellaneous pieces of tree.  We roped branches to ensure that they fell onto our side of the fence;  we must have looked very daft, but in all honesty it was a job well done.  Of course then we had to get rid of all that wood.  I loaded two larg bags of prunings into the car and set off. Mildred riding shotgun.  At the tip we had to wait in a queue as the people in front of us dumped their waste. I someimes wonder if in some familys they view going to the dump as a day out.  I know that we have to recycle everything these days but some folk take forever.  Mildred wandered across to the dump office and got nattering with a large man, in need of a shave, wearing an orange fluorescent jacket labelled "Environmental Services".  That's what they call rubbish disposal in these parts.  She must have worked some charm on him because he came over, opened the rear doors and took our clippings for us!  I looked at her in amazement - "Gave him my last Rolo" she said.  Knowing Mildred she gave him MY last Rolo.  But whatever she did, we are now minus one tree and all its debris.  I'm off for a bath now.  My back is killing me.
We have spent the past few days in Suffolk at a family funeral.  My aunt to be precise.  would have been 93 in May and had lived in a Mason's care home for the past five years.  Funerals are funny things.  For years assorted relatives name call other relatives and then they all get together at the funeral and say how wonderful so and so was!  So it was here.  My aunt was a very gregarious woman, she travelled abroad on her own at a time when women did not do that.  She was glamorous and would waft down from London in a cloud of scents and up to date fashions.  Even at 90 she had to be told that a ra ra skirt was perhaps a little unsuitable for a lady of her age.  She snorted at that but allowed herself to be lead away to look at other fashion.

As the curtain closed in front of he coffin before sliding away to the literally fiery furnace, I sensed a palpable end of the show.  Short of taking a final bow she slid from this world into the next amidst a scene of warm benevolence.  She had had a hideous temper, but now that was extinguished and all that we could remember was her Imelda Marcos like shoe collection and her harrying of her late husband, my uncle.  Poor chap, he wasn't allowed to sit in the lounge except in clean and pressed trousers.  Any whiff of the garden and she would put newspaper on the chair before he plonked himself down.  "A real gentleman your uncle" the undertaker, (who was a family friend of theirs) told me.  He should know as he as had my uncle's ashes in a an urn on a shelf in his funeral parlour for the last three years.  Plenty of time for the two old boys to chat.  Now both aunt and uncle will be scattered together in the local church to where they lived for upwards of 30 years.

These things always make me thikn about my own mortality.  But not for too long as at the tea party afterwards Mildred got herself into a real mess.  Sausage rolls, pork pie and egg sandwich crumbs soon littered her front.  She was oblivious to this of course.  But my niece, whose husband had driven us in his lovely Jaguar motor car, wasn't having her back in the car until she looked decent again.  Like a small child Mildred wriggled and complained as we applied damp tissues to her mess eventually getting her back to s