Family Funeral 3
We all left The Bull, some the worse for wear, and staggered across the darkening cemetery. I don’t know whether my dizzy, older cousin Elfreda had taken one too many port and lemons, she was very tottery and insisted that she could be about to suffer an angina attack, anyway, she clung to my arm while I struggled to avoid the quagmire and stay upright; Elfreda`s long skirt and coat were already dragging in the mud each of her high heels disappearing with every step.
The vicar, now reeking of some kind of vapour rubs and continuing to sniff and sneeze, orated the rest of the service by heart which was a good thing as it was now too dark to use his prayer book. I stood there wondering how I could keep clear of Elfreda on the way out, I needn`t have worried, she was later spotted re-entering The Bull clinging on to the arm of one of the kilt clad Scottish contingent.
Uncle Bertie was lowered into the ground we all said our last goodbyes and started to leave. The vicar stood opposite Mr Froggatt at the cemetery gates, shaking hands with various people. My cousin Bryn and his wife were just in front of me so I couldn’t avoid hearing Bryn put his foot in it as usual. He asked Mr Froggatt if he still had all his shovels and equipment to hand and then, nodding towards the vicar, said “Looks as if you’ll be needing it for him soon!” One could sense Bryn`s poor wife cringing with embarrassment. The vicar didn’t find it funny either; he glared at Bryn then continued his germ spreading hand-shakes with all those following behind.
Some of the party returned to the merriment in The Bull while the majority of aunts, uncles and cousins wended their weary ways home, obviously disappointed that the contents of Uncle Bertie`s will hadn’t been revealed. Aunt Rosalind was heard to comment that it was a “Bit of a devil, after she and Bill had come all that way”. They only lived in the next village, two miles away. Actually, Aunt Roz was hoping to get away early as it was her night for bingo and the delay in proceedings was giving her cause for panic. Continued...
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