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by Viv

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I'm here because it's a place where I want to be.

What do I do with my life - still pondering that, keep exploring the possibilities I suppose...

I do have another more personal moblog Vivupclose

Take a look at my daughter Beth's website...

food for thought...

Everyone, in some small sacred sanctuary of the self, is nuts. -Leo Rosten, author (1908-1997)

We think caged birds sing, when indeed they cry. -John Webster, playwright (c. 1580-1634)

There are two kinds of light -- the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures. -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)

The artist brings something into the world that didn't exist before, and he does it without destroying something else. -John Updike, writer (1932-2009)

Some people become so expert at reading between the lines they don't read the lines. -Margaret Millar, novelist (1915-1994)

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. -Elie Wiesel, writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1928)

from A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg

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Alan's Goodbye

(viewed 367 times)
Mike, Liz and Alan's mum as I knew them in 1962

It's the first time I've ever known Alan to be on time!

All I can say seeing so many of you here is that Alan must have bought a heck of a lot of pints for you guys. Alan was the most generous man I've ever known.

Thank you all for taking the trouble to come and pay your respects. Many thousands of miles have been travelled to get you all here.
Thank you so much Viv with Helen and Beth's help for organising this tribute; I can imagine how hard that was.
I'd like to thank my wife, Una, for supporting and comforting me over the last 2 weeks. I haven't been easy to live with. I probably haven't been easy to live with for the last 15 hundred weeks either, come to think of it. It was our 30th wedding anniversary on December 30th, the last time I saw Alan. We hugged when I left. We'd never done that before. I'm so pleased we did.

"BROTHER" Such an evocative and iconic word. There are countless references in the Bible using brother in its wider sense of friend or companion. Religious orders use "brother". Shakespeare coined the phrase "Band of Brothers" and we use it for all manner of friendships and close relationships. Now we have Bro used extensively for friend or mate.

You have to remember how important an older brother is in leading the way:
When you get a motorbike at 16 it's because your brother had one at 16.
When you get a car at 17 it's because your brother had one at 18.
When you get to go on holiday at 16 it's because your brother got to go at 20.
When you have a girlfriend at 12 it's because your brother could have one at 18.
I'd like to read a poem I found. It struck a chord with me. Gaius Valerius Catellus was a Roman poet who wrote this to his brother on returning from far away for his funeral. Forgive me if the language is a bit archaic. It was customary to bring gifts to bury with the deceased. I expect that must have been Lazio bobble hats or Roma FC scarves.

By ways remote and distant waters sped,
Brother, to thy sad grave-side am I come,
That I may give the last gifts to the dead,
And vainly parley with thine ashes dumb:
Since fate who now bestows and now denies
Hath ta'en thee, hapless brother, from mine eyes.
But lo! these gifts, the heirlooms of past years,
Are made sad things to grace thy coffin shell;
Take them, all drenched with a brother's tears,
And, brother, for all time, hail and farewell!


Liz's words...Because there are nine years between Alan and myself, I have to admit I may have some misconceptions in regards to him:

I believed he was almost as powerful as Mum and Dad AND Gran on the occasions of her visits to us;
I believed he could do anything;
I believed he could get away with anything;
I believed he could eat anything;
I believed he could drink gallons of beer and remain upright;
I believed he could sword dance;
I believed he could never lie, not even a little white one;
I believed he could fix anything;
I believed he could build a new kitchen;
There end the misconceptions;

Because of this nine year difference in age, I grew up with Alan as a sort of vision, well, no, not so much vision as apparition, flitting in and out of the house doing whatever it was he and his mates were up to at that time. Always the big brother, too busy growing up to notice he was forging the way ahead for the rest of us. He was always along for family occasions, holidays and such, until he became a teenager and was allowed to go with "the lads".

Of course Viv was a part of our family for as far back as I can remember. I did wonder about the part Viv played as opposed to " the lads"

In my mind Alan was just too high on the pedestal for me to reach. Now I know the tv show, " Happy Days",which of course wasn't around then, I think of Alan and his mates as the characters in that show. Glamorous, grown up teenagers, with kid brothers and sisters hanging off their every word.

There is one thing about Alan that is very disturbing to me and I believe only happened to him since arriving in Yorkshire and starting a garden. He disliked rabbits. I can only think this character flaw is due to his never being exposed to Beatix Potter as a child and of course not too many rabbits roamed our Manchester suburbs.

Alan is our eldest sibling, `mum and Dad's first born. I say is because he will always be that, even without his physical presence in a room, without his voice and compelling eyes, the essence of him will remain in the hearts and minds of the people who love him and the ones who were lucky enough to be loved by him in return.

Alan will always remain a great gentleman in our memories, is caring and kindnesses never forgotten.

No one will ever forget his razor sharp wit and sense of humour, his triumphant smile as he delivered yet another punch line to his lastest joke.

Our world is not a better place now you are gone Alan, but we are better people for having know you.

Love you Alan.
2nd Feb 2013, 09:44   | tags:,comments (0)

Alan's Goodbye

(viewed 380 times)
Green Fields of France played on the mandolin and whistle by Nickie and Vince (they got up at 6am and recorded it because they were afraid of messing it up!)

If I should go before the rest of you,
Break not a flower, nor inscribe a stone,
Nor, when I’m gone, speak in a Sunday voice,
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must: parting is hell,
but life goes on so sing as well.
Joyce Gernfell

I saw these words some time ago and thought YES that is how I feel about funeral’s - although not the flowers:) We had to have Red Roses for love and Lancashire of course - Helen would have liked to have filled the Clarendon with them.

Alan was never keen on big ‘do’s’ they usually meant formal dress and all that goes with it (he refused all invitations if he would have to wear anything more formal than a lounge suit)

He did have a Do for his 21st though - it was the done thing at the time. Some of you were there.

He had no choice about a Do in 1967 when we got married - some of you were there too.

Then he reluctantly allowed me (just over 20 years ago) to celebrate our Silver Wedding, right here in this hall - quite a lot of you were here.

He refused a retirement Do - they would have liked to have given him a good send off but weren’t allowed.

Well now he has no choice
and I welcome you all here - to Alan’s Bit of a Do (he did love the writing of David Nobbs )

I wanted everyone to have a chance to play a part in today, so that they could feel that they had helped to make this special. And to show that although he has gone, we all carry him with us in some way. This is what gives me strength and why I am so pleased to have you all here reflecting his love.

Alan was born in Southport, as air raids made his home city Liverpool unsafe. His family moved to Manchester when he was 3 - his introduction was to be ‘beaten up’ well that’s how he put it - presumably so he would know his place.

Ray his father ran his Uncle’s newsagent shop. I knew him from being tiny. He had been a paratrooper and was Alan’s hero and role model. He had time for and loved everyone. He had a joke or quip for everyone too. I always said that knowing him helped me understand Alan - time for everyone but sometimes no energy left for the family whom he so loved.

Alan’s brother Michael (who was still wearing short trousers when Alan and I first started going out 52 years ago in 1961) and the baby of the family Liz who was only 8 when I became a part of their family’s life would like to share their thoughts.

Words from his brother and sister. (He aint heavy he’s my brother - 3 lines)
2nd Feb 2013, 09:01   | tags:comments (4)

Alan's Goodbye

(viewed 662 times)
Alan's Goodbye 'service' sheet' cover
Thank you Naomi'(

The words which were spoken are on the following pages - click 'newer', top left.

Did it go well?
Comment from Hayley and Ash who run "The Clarendon" ...
'I often find myself wondering if people really do look down from wherever they may be at what they have left behind.
After today I hope that this is true and Alan will be looking and thinking, and feeling so proud to have such a wonderful and friends. The whole feel of today has been... 'so Alan' and all he would have done for himself. What a fabulous send off for a fabulous gentleman.

Thank you Hayley x
29th Jan 2013, 07:31   | tags:comments (4)

A card for Alan

(viewed 1430 times)
This card was made by Libby who met him only a couple of times at most, but when she heard he had cancer she drew this for him

He made that impression on people.

Last night he left us - rather more quickly and suddenly than we were prepared for

Helen is with me and Beth will be home soon - there are no words

Our last ones to each other although we didn't know it was to tell each other we loved each other and he said 'Thank you again'
16th Jan 2013, 14:22   | tags:comments (37)

a full tree

With Helen's felt decorations and some glass ones I bought and all our older ones, we definitely have a very full and fine tree :)
Hope everyone is having a good day x
25th Dec 2012, 19:45   comments (2)

cold out there even at 11am and some sun

(viewed 391 times)
We had bad news yesterday Alan has not been too well for some time and we have found he has cancer. I do not want to talk on this open blog so would prefer no comments on here but if you wish to know what is happening / how I feel then befriend me on Vivupclose - link in sidebar and I will make it friends only soonx
13th Dec 2012, 11:10   comments (2)

my spa day lunch

(viewed 468 times)
10th Dec 2012, 17:27   comments (7)

Goodbye Mog

(viewed 645 times)
The forever purring cat...

had lots of lumps and other probems were developing so the time came to say goodbye yesterday

was very peaceful and civilised, she was given some anaesthetic first and I sat and stroked her until she slept

bless her she will be missed x
5th Dec 2012, 15:38   comments (15)