Yesterday tears welled in me as memories came back from the past. David had emailed could they cut the holly for the church for the coming Xmas. Such memories are pushed well back, should they spring to mind I think of other things.
David and Jo, in their 80s have been together since meeting as children in India. He so tall, and of the old school, and she so small and talkative. There she would be at the back door come for a chat, and I would help her off with her boots and for a couple of hours we would talk. Often it was about the feral cats in the village, Jo had taken four kittens in they lived in their barn alongside the camper van they had.
David was the town crier for Malton, resplendent in his blue jacket and cockade hat, he would ring the bell and give out his declaration. He did it in our village as well, I have photographs somewhere, he had to do it twice for I was late at the time.
Jo would ring the bells of the church for any auspicious occasion, and would ask did we mind if she rang the bell at midnight. Never I said, for it never worries me waking at night, I will listen out for the many barn owls, or maybe they were other owls, does it matter the naming of things?
The holly tree is by the small old building at the foot of the church wall, it was next to our garden, and Paul was very protective of it, as he was of the whole village, and this was appreciated by many people.
The building had its own history, the village lock up in earlier times. The cottage had been built on the small pasture field next to the church. The field had had a small stable in it for a pony and before that had been the village butchers shop? Everyone still remembered the field as the place the annual barbecue happened, though newcomers will not have any idea. Yes I did find some bones as I dug holes for my roses.
Returning to David and Jo, from their barn was a flag pole, and the union jack would fly occasionally, and then the Welsh flag telling us they had gone down to their Welsh cottage. Solid Brits, no I never asked about Brexit knowing we would be worlds apart.
I had had news that the first person to greet us into the village had died a few days ago. I remember Peter Smith standing on the doorstep with a small box of tomatoes, graciously welcoming us, he was the church warden at the time and we met many people from being next to the church. Talking to them as they tended their dead.
The saddest case was right outside to be seen from the side window, a young lad who had hung himself in his grandfather's pigeon loft on the other side of our house. His grave was always full of flowers as the family looked after him, keeping him alive in their memory and I think a younger sibling would come, often on an evening, to sit by the grave and talk to him. Death is not always miserable.
And as it is Sunday Jo ringing the bells to call the meagre congregation to worship, not many sadly... Sorry about my terrible video making but you will see the holly tree and building.