The first of the yellow roses that grow outside my kitchen window has come into bloom. There is an abundance of buds which promise a fine display this summer with the rose bush showing no signs of stress from the harsh winter. Not so the well established ceanothus that has not come into leaf, let alone flower, this year. Just a little over a week ago I discussed, with my neighbour, whether drastic pruning might be the only course of action. It was to be the last of our many chats about gardening and the affects of our climate on our flora. Sadly Mrs. Nancy Holmes, affectionately known as Nan, passed away early last week. I had got into the habit of giving Nan the first and last roses from my garden but, this year, the first is in a vase on the kitchen windowsill in her memory.
Always welcoming, I initially met Nan the day I came to view the then up for sale Pickenham 20th/acres and was welcomed back, when I came to say that I had purchased the house, with a "Good, I'm glad it was you that bought it". Mrs. Holmes progressively suffered from many debilitating ailments, since the millennium, of which I never heard her curse and, indeed, she was still very active in village life until quite recently. A gentleman never reveals a ladies age but, let's just say, she lived through not just economic recessions but a depression too. Her funeral will take place at 1.45pm on Monday, 14th June at Mintlyn Crematorium, King's Lynn.
I lost another good friend in May. Pickle was my friend's Jack Russell cross Border Terrier who was a bit of a naughty dog, chasing rabbits and, well, anything else she thought she might catch.
A loving dog, if a little high spirited at times for her laid back brother Roger and wimpish friend Bertie, her curiosity finally got the better of her. Dying mercifully quickly and cleanly by a passing blow from a train, her single year of life has left a strong and fondly remembered love in all who knew her.
All photos © J Reed