I'm home again and am absolutely exhausted! I feel that I could sleep for a week. If my family lets me, I may indeed do that :)
Well I arrived in Birmingham on Saturday two hours late due to the bad weather and Barb and I went directly from the airport to Tesco to get some food for our journey to Newquay. Brian and Joan had arrived from the north a short while before me and after having something to eat we all went to bed in the freezing cold house. The heating had been turned off whilst Barbara had been visiting me and had only been put back on a couple of hours earlier when Barb had returned home! I had two hot water bottles in bed with me as it was soooooo cold. (I know I'm a moaner, but I hate the cold!!!)
On Sunday morning at 7.50 am we left Redditch and made our way down to Newquay in Cornwall, arriving at 12.20 pm. For the next two hours we sorted out and looked through things that Aunty Ellen had left us. I spent a lot of time going through the jewellery that had been left to Barb and myself. I'd inherited Aunty Ellen's wedding ring and my Nana Gray's wedding ring and quite a few other rings and watches.
We went out for lunch and came back and carried on sorting through her personal items well into the evening. We had a good gospel discussion and then went to bed with more hot water bottles just before midnight.
On Monday morning we arose to tidy up the mess we'd made yesterday and got ourselves ready for Aunty Ellen's funeral. The hearse and limo were arriving at 9.30 am to take us to the cemetry in Truro 15 miles away. The funeral was simple and short. David conducted and gave a short life story of Ellen Pearce Gray Taylor. She was born on July 1, 1925 to Beatrice McFadden and Wilfred Gray. She was the eldest child of three. Our dad, Thomas Lakeman Gray was born two years later on July 4, 1927. She met Harold Taylor in 1942 and married him in 1946. They were sadly not blessed with children. Aunty Ellen had often bemoaned to me the fact that she'd been born in the wrong time; IVF would have been an answer to their prayers.
After the funeral we went back to Ellen's house for a small wake.
The estate agent came at lunch time to get our details and our ID's in preparation for the sale of house and then at 2 pm we all went into town to finish off some loose ends concerning the estate. Our appointment to see the solicitor was at 3 pm and because we were early we took a walk along Towan Beach.
After the meeting with the solicitor we took David to Newquay airport so he could get himself to London in time for his Tuesday 10.15am flight to Paris. where he would connect on to Boston and finally on to Salt Lake City. I think he had problems due to the bad weather. I'll find out tomorrow how things went for him.
Monday evening and Tuesday morning were spent getting rid off and sorting out the rest of Aunty Ellen's belongings. Outside the house there was a massive pile of black bags which Jackie, Aunty Ellen's goddaughter would have to get rid of.You should have seen the car - it was choc-a-block!! We had bags on top of us for the 4 hour journey back up to Redditch!
It was strange saying goodbye to Newquay; an era has come to an end. Ellen and Harry lived in Newquay for 32 years and it's sad that nothing holds us there anymore. I have very fond childhood memories and they will stay with me forever.
Whilst we were sorting through some of Aunty Ellen's photos I came across the following two of dad. The top one was taken in October 1940 and the lower one we think he looks about 16 or 17 years old, which would mean 1943-44. These were a great find!!
I'm glad I'm home; it was very tiring but worth it. It was great seeing Brian, Joan and David and spending the few days together. Once again, only 4 siblings together! :(
We missed mum and Keith.
Now it's Christmas and it's time to spend a few hours thinking about our blessings and the gratefulness of families. I'm grateful for mine, that's for sure. Merry Christmas!