Yesterday was a happy and sad day. R and I had gone to Hastings with the Archaeological Group. It was a blustery and wet day but very exhilarating; our Archaeological Director had arranged for a guide to give us a tour and talk about the history of some of the buildings in the old part of town and it was truly fascinating; he was able to show us inside two that are being renovated.
The next part of the day was in Bulverhythe, visiting the shore where The Amsterdam lay and also the fossil forest, but unfortunately the tide was not going out quickly enough to beat the descending darkness and so we did not see very much.
We came home in the dark and had our tea. Only then did R notice that we had a message on our answerphone.
When R’s Mum and Dad were married they bought a ‘new-build’ house along with several other couples of a similar age. Many of these couples had their children at the same time as each other, the Dads worked and the Mums stayed at home, the children grew up together, played together, went to the same schools together and have gradually left home to start their own families, but are still as welcome in the next-door houses as they always were.
Two years after losing R’s father, the phone message was from one of the daughters of R’s Mum’s neighbour to say that her father has died unexpectedly. I have been trying to phone back since then but the phone is permanently engaged, and I remember how much phoning I did when R’s Dad died. I don’t want to intrude but wanted to send our condolences and see whether they’d like to come to us for coffee or lunch today, but remembering how we were at that time they probably wouldn’t. I could walk round there this morning but don’t know whether they’ll be up to having visitors, and I’d only get upset with them and that probably wouldn’t help.
I think that I’ll try again this afternoon, and then if I can’t get through I will call in on my way home from work tomorrow with a card and some flowers and a big hug. What else can you do?