Life lately: April

I thought I’d do a little post about what I’ve been up to during the past few weeks. Amy Antoinetteย often writes little round-up posts and they are always nice to read. Besides it’s been a weird time getting back into things after our little holiday, especially after Phil’s grandmother passed away shortly after we returned. She would have been 99 next month and although she was a grand old age, her death still came as a surprise to us. We had been staying with her while our barn was being built and were busy decorating the attics. The idea being that one day she might need a carer on more of a full time basis. I guess that was never going to be part of the master plan and she was so fiercely independent really. I don’t think she would have wanted anyone staying in her home on a full time basis.

roses and eucalyptus in an old metal pot

A rare character who did everything from Cordon Bleu demonstrations to captaining the ladies cricket team. She even decorated her house from top to bottom doing all the wallpapering herself. She was a frugal lady too and loved to make and create soups and pickles using leftover items from her garden. We always joked that she would freeze everything in sight. She even froze a picnic I made her once – much to our amusement.

About three weeks before she died she plucked and dressed a pheasant. I quite fancied the feathers for button holes, but decided I wasn’t brave enough to get involved with plucking. She on the other hand was in her element. I guess it reminded her of the old days and the things she got up to during her youth.

I loved to listen to her tales about the things she’d done over the years. My favourite was the one about her house and how she came to be living there. Phil’s Grandfather had said it was a big house so she must never complain about all the work to be done. In actual fact I think she embraced the work and enjoyed to be busy. There’s a lot to be said about having an attitude like that. I fear life can quickly pass you by if you don’t get out there and make your mark.

You can probably work out for yourself the kind of impact she had on our life and I suppose I am very fortunate in that my husband carries many of her qualities. He isn’t afraid of hard work and has run a successful business since he was in his mind twenties. Both of them encouraged me to push outside my comfort zone and do things which were a bit scary. I suppose that’s why I am doing so many things now, I’m certain I haven’t always been this brave.

We laid Phil’s grandmother, or Addie as she was affectionally known, to rest on 7th April. It was rather fitting really as she was born on 7th May and married on 7th December. You could say 7 was her lucky number and I’m sure she would have been pleased to keep the sequence going right until her final days.

For her funeral I created a number of floral arrangements using as much foliage from her gardens as I could. Her favourite plum tree was covered in blossom so I used that in the church along with some deep red/pink roses, some beautiful big peach and pink roses, plus some thistles and pretty eucalyptus. I think she would have been very pleased to think she pushed me out of my comfort zone to create her funeral flowers. It’s not something I had ever done before, but it felt right to do them for her.

I’ve posted some photos below so you can have a look. I think she would have liked that too.

A modern pedestal using wild foliage, roses and blossom

A wooden crate with roses, eucalyptus, thistles and tulips. Perfect for spring

Roses, thistles, berries, tulips and dill

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Wooden crate with roses, thistles and eucalyptus

2 Comments

  1. Louise Ktoris April 25, 2016 / 5:17 pm

    What a perfectly beautiful post and tribute to what was clearly, a much loved lady.

    Your floral tributes are stunning Jody, and she would most definitely have ‘liked’ them … as a straightforward sounding lady, I’m sure she wouldn’t have been gusty about it … but I think looking down on you, she is immensely proud!

    Much love to you and hoping that you and Mr Page most definitely have some brighter days ahead of you now.

    Xxx

    • Country Pages May 10, 2016 / 7:40 pm

      Louise, what a lovely thing to say – thank you xx
      It’s funny because actually I could almost hear her talking to me as I arranged her flowers in the church. You are right, she wasn’t one to mince her words (not sure if that is the correct mince!) so would have given me a full critique. But yes, I am sure she would have been proud and will have been very pleased to have given me the opportunity to do some funeral flowers!! x

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