My window faces the south, Part 4: Netley days

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A few weeks ago, out of the blue the phone rang to tell us that our old, and much-loved next-door neighbour Tony Bray had died. This sad news, followed by his memorable and moving burial at sea near Gosport a few days later, reminded me just what a formative period this was for us all.

Looking back, Tony, his wife Adrienne and their two sons remain right up there in the top ten greatest strokes of luck we ever had. There’s only so much research you can do when looking for a new home – estate agent blurbs, surveys, casing the joint, it’s always hit-and-miss, and one of the most important factors, your new neighbours, is the hardest factor to find out about. In this case we had won the lottery, but we didn’t know it straight away.

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Last orders please

Here’s a thought-provoking post from my friend Caroline High:


DSCF0715I was sitting in a church recently waiting for a concert to begin. It was a good evening and the choir was in fine form but it was the conversation I had with the lady sitting next to me, and not the music, that struck the biggest chord that night.

I don’t know the lady very well but she’s a very pleasant person, and so we sat together. She worships at the Catholic church we were in and in the course of conversation, told me that she’d been here the evening before, to hear Mass said in memory of a friend. “She was one of my oldest friends, and I didn’t know she’d died.” I raised my eyebrows. She went on to explain that her friend had moved a long way away, and her son had moved in with her. When she died, her son had had her cremated at…

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