relief than a tragedy, since she's been nearly-gone since February (she
was very much looking forward to our Wedding Celebration and kind of
faded immediately afterwards), but nevertheless, she's gone – we'll never hear her singing Sospan Bach or asking for a nice cup of tea or offering us a Bounty bar again.
I got the chance to make friends with Granma over the last couple of summers; I was teaching English near her flat and would pop in and get her reminiscing about things I never knew about her (eg. life in a village in Wales, the chap whose marriage proposal she turned down etc.etc.).
We'd often read poetry together – usually with me saying the first line and her completing the verse out of long-lost childhood memory. This is the beginning of one of her favourites:
ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds:
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.