In Memory of Granma


Granma & Cake

My Granma (my Mum's mum) died last week.  In many ways it's more a
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 curfew tolls the knell of parting day,

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.

Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,

And all the air a solemn stillness holds,


Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,


And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds:

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower

The moping owl does to the moon complain


Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,


Molest her ancient solitary reign.

.


A Country Churchyard

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