A hundred or so gathered in Stratford this afternoon for Hugh Chatwin's funeral, the average age well below the usual upon such occasions. I knew hardly more than half a dozen of those present, but it was good to see those few very old friends again, and to celebrate Hugh together.
I have to admit to feeling distracted during the rather long service: the words "transport of delight" in the first hymn induced a frisson, reviving the memory of Hugh's car being squashed by a bus. And the lights were blazing throughout: given that the chapel was more than full of natural light on this hottest of days, that would no doubt have appealed to Hugh's sense of the ridiculous - being the good Green that he was.
Following discussions in my early days of blogging, apart from the family I generally try to avoid naming living people who are referred to in these posts - unless it's a public occasion I'm writing about. But, following receipt of the news of his sudden death, in mentioning Hugh's experience as a sailor, I included Rosalind Anderson's name - she being the third person on a not-to-be-forgotten holiday Hugh had organised many years ago; and glad I was that I had done so, as otherwise Ros wouldn't have heard about Hugh's death and been there at today's send off. "Who's the bikini girl?" asked a friend. "Let me introduce her," I was able to say!
Having lived within half a dozen miles of Stratford all my early life, I felt strange discovering for the first time the beautiful Guild Chapel and Shakespeare's adjoining school room - that's it in my photograph: how old are those formes?