January 1st, 2007


Birthdays again.

Happy birthday, xnamkrad

You were born 69 years after my maternal grandmother, 29 years (but a day) after my mother, and oh my god, it's my nephew's birthday tomorrow as well. I hate the January - March birthday rush. If you weren't born in that 01-01 to 31/03 quarter, you're not part of my family. Even my first wife managed that, though these days, I can stop worrying a day earlier, when bellinghwoman has her birthday.

(OK, so there's a niece born a few months late. But all the others are in that quarter.)
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My first night away from home of 2007 will be occurring somewhat earlier than I expected. I'm going to be driving on Scotland on Wednesday evening, returning the following evening, for the funeral of my Aunt.

It wasn't unexpected - she's been very frail for a very long time, and since dementia had settled in too, it was more of a release than a tragedy. But she was the Aunt who used to be matron of the Ley's School in Cambridge, conveniently opposite the Engineering Department when I was studying there, and whom I thus visited quite frequently.

She was the mother of my four male cousins. She lost her husband (my mother's brother) back in 1975.

It was she who invited my side of the family for Christmas, up in the isolated cottage up in the Dumfries wilds, shortly after my parents split back in '78.

A little later,after I left the University, she married a second time, and my first wife and I used to visit her at Godolphin Cottage, one of that odd block of buildings in the middle of the Iron Age fort of Wandlebury ring, just south of Cambridge.

She was my Cambridge Aunt. The most approachable of my aunts, especially compared to my Aunt Di, who has (or at least had) an uncompromising South African attitude to the world (but who, as she approaches her 90s, is mellowing).

Alison Bagnall Parker, rest in peace.
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