Tuesday 27 April 2010

Z has nothing to say, but says it at length

A funeral today, of a man of 93. I didn't know him, but I sat on the organ stool feeling most awfully sorry for his poor widow, left alone after 60 years of marriage. Their daughters flanked her in the pew. I couldn't see one of them as the pulpit was in the way, but the other one was in tears for most of the service. It made me cry too - I'm getting too much of a wimp to play for funerals. I admit that it pays well though - Weeza was here when I got back and she was impressed.

Everything is either confidential or dull. Not private, you understand - I'd probably tell you all about it if it were merely private - but it leaves me with little to write about, concerning what's going on now, at any rate.

We've got a social event on at the church at the end of next week - I'm doing the cooking - and four of us decided that we'd better meet to make final arrangements. There was a slight hesitation when I asked where the meeting was to be, so I suggested we might meet here. "I love coming to your house, it's so welcoming. And comfortable" said one. I was a little surprised. Scruffy and chaotic, I'd say. I suppose not many people would like to live here, but maybe it is quite relaxing, knowing that I really wouldn't mind if you came in with mud on your shoes or put your feet up on the sofa. Tilly might give you a look as it's her sofa, of course.

Al says that one of the beehives is nearly ready to swarm. He's got a third beehive ready and will split the colony soon - last year, he lost half his bees when his single hive swarmed. He was able to rescue the situation by dividing the remainder, and they both survived the winter. In fact, it was a blessing in disguise, as his original queen was decidedly edgy and the colony was quite aggressive. These two are sweet-natured and don't mind people at all. The bees don't make so much honey though, he says. There's a cherry tree near the house and they have been enjoying the nectar for the past week or so. Lots of trees are in bloom at this time of year, so there's plenty for the bees to harvest. Apple blossom next. There's hardly anything prettier.


martina said...

I've always thought your home sounded warm and welcoming. Too bad it is so many thousands of miles away or the dogs and I would come for a visit.
Good luck to Al with the hive adventures.

Dave said...

I miss funerals. I haven't taken one for nearly 3 years now.

badgerdaddy said...

I have a funeral to go to very soon. Not looking forward to it one bit. And as for the widow... She lost her husband and only child within a week of each other. I've been trying to imagine in some small way what she must be feeling and just can't.

Z said...

You'd be treated as one of the family, Martina, and made very welcome.

Ministers I know have said that they feel that taking a funeral service is a privilege, Dave. Though one of them, after his own wife died, said that he then realised he knew nothing, and afterwards found it incredibly hard.

This old man had had an interesting career and a long and active retirement. Then he died, mourned by a loving family and friends. He was very lucky. I'm so sorry about your friend, Badge. That's unimaginably terrible.

Blue Witch said...

"Al says that one of the beehives is nearly ready to swarm."

Eh? Did he mean there were too many bees, or that they were actually making queen cells?

I suspect that he should have slapped on some supers weeks ago to give them so much room that they got on with some work rather than the crazy notion of swarming!

Always be two supers ahead of where you think they should be is what an old beekeeper friend of ours (now sadly deceased) said when we were beginners. 15 seasons ago now! And if they seem edgy, make the lower super a one with just foundation in it.

I'm not convinced that I'd be splitting a colony this early in the season.

Z said...

Oh darling, it was midnight when I wrote that and I just reported what the Sage said Al had told him - and the Sage knows even less about beekeeping than I do. I expect that there are queen cells and that he got caught out by them having done a lot of work in the last week or two. It wasn't long ago that they were last checked - I remember looking after the children - and all was tranquil then. I daresay he's destroyed the queen cells, added supers and left the new hive conveniently placed, just in case. He really kicked himself for them having swarmed last year, but in fact he learned from it - not least, that if you have a moody queen, get rid of her.

Christopher said...

Playing for funerals is certainly an ordeal (tho' nothing of course compared to that of the principals), an ordeal lessened by nobody listening. Weddings are worse - nobody listens even harder.

Anonymous said...

Good to hear that the bees survived. Around here some strange bee-illness killed a lot.

Z said...

Nobody listens unless you play a wrong note, Christopher. Or rather, since I expect you don't do such a thing, unless *I* play a wrong note.

Weddings are worse because they are recorded.

Yes, that's the reason Al started bee-keeping, Mago, because so many bees have died. He's not bothered about the honey, he just likes having the bees around.

Anonymous said...

They are not "just" usefull. They have to be there. Sorry, can't express it right.