Recently I received some very sad news. Pamela, a long time friend of both Miranda my wife and I, had died. It was a shock and most unexpected, as she was quite a lot younger than me. The last time I had seen her was briefly before I sold my house. She and her husband David came past on a walk as I was working in the front garden and they commented on the ‘For Sale’ board, wishing to know what it was all about. Other than that I hadn’t seen her for a number of years, even though we all lived within about half a mile of each other. The girls used to exchange birthday and Christmas cards. But in the early years our children had grown up together and our girls were at the same dancing school, so we had seen much more of each other then.
Thoughtfully David phoned me to give me the sad news; she had died after a short illness. So on Monday I travelled to Banbury to attend the funeral. It was at the crematorium at midday. Miranda’s grave is in the cemetery there so I arrived a little earlier to tidy her memorial and place some carnations on it before entering the chapel.
It was a sad occasion, because of Pamela’s passing. She had been such a beautiful girl. She was slim, elegant and had a mass of such dark auburn hair as to be almost black. She was graceful and stylish enough to have been a model. She spoke softly and quietly and laughed a lot and I had always fancied her like mad. This was before she met David and of course it had to be my secret love as my wife, quite rightly too, would never have approved of it. I don’t expect Pamela would have thought much of it either. But it came as a great shock to hear the distressing news.
But the saddest of occasions can quickly become the happiest. At the reception afterwards at the Whately Hall Hotel, I was reunited with many old friends that I had lost contact with over the years and it was good to see them again. They were all most interested in my new lifestyle.
While I was in Banbury I called at Argos to buy a new pocket digital camera. You’ve probably noticed that there has been a conspicuous lack of recent photos in these pages and this is because earlier in the New Year I couldn’t get my old camera to focus properly. I struggled with it for a long time before deciding that it was past its best anyway. I’d used it for so many years that it certainly didn’t owe me anything now. I decided to buy a new one. It’s a Kodak and very similar to the last so I don’t have to learn a new set of operating rules.