Sunday 13 November 2011


I really am not sleeping too well.  An hour asleep, a few awake, a short nap and that was it.  I watched the dawn from the window in front of me now.  Very pink.  I warned the shepherd, but later he came round, wondering why I'd wasted his time.  It's been a lovely sunny day, once the sun burned off the early-morning mist.

I was sidesman at the 8 o'clock service, so was out of the house by 7.30.  Already, a couple of bantams were waiting for breakfast (some are shut in at night, some prefer to roost in trees).  I chucked them a handful of corn and explained that the Sage would bring them warm, soaked bread later.

10 of us, which is actually a decent number for that early service - no hymns, Book of Common Prayer Communion service - the BCP is the proper prayer book for me, modern stuff may be fun but it doesn't make me think - and it was lovely to see the Rector, whom I haven't seen for weeks.  She's been away, and doing services in other villages.

Later, I went to the Remembrance Sunday service in the next village.  The first hymn was 'Eternal Father' ... oh, you might need a link... sorry, darlings, this does give both words and music, so if you don't want sound, turn it off now, and if you do, apologies for the tinny-sounding organ.  As a Lowestoft girl, I feel a strong connection with that hymn.  Do you know, I am not a superstitious person at all.  But, give me a decanter of port ... ooh, cheers, don't mind if I do ... and I will, defo, pass it to the left, clockwise.  Because, the saying goes, if the port is passed the wrong way, a sailor dies at sea.  Honestly, I don't believe it.  But I still pass the port the right (correct) way.

Dick, who has read the Roll of Honour for our village for about the last ten years, died in the summer,  Over 90 years old, he married during the war that he fought in as a soldier.  His funeral was on the 70th anniversary of his wedding, his wife having died last year.  Dear Dick, he found that Remembrance service very meaningful.  We haven't got another war veteran to read the names, but we have got a Lieutenant Colonel (recently retired) and he spoke wonderfully well.

I say it every year, and I shall continue to say it - this village, with about 1,000 residents including children now, which had far fewer houses 100 years ago, albeit they were more densely inhabited, lost 25 young men during the First World War.  That awful war wiped out most of a generation.  None of them is alive now, but they must not be forgotten.  If only history lessons could truly be learnt - but if there is one thing that history tells us, it's that nothing is learnt.


Tim said...

I couldn't get the sound to play, but it didn't matter, I could hear it in my head. I'm not religious in the church-going sense, but I cannot deny the resonances.

Thank you for a beautiful post which exactly chimed with my feelings today.

Z said...

You missed nothing, Tim, it really was not a good organ.

I mention our 25 every year. It shocks me every time, as do the 4 members of one family in the next village and the 3 brothers in the other neighbouring one.

yaya said...

We have Veterans Day here on Friday to remember our heroes. I think small towns feel the losses so much more because everyone is connected so closely. I'm glad they are not forgotten in your town or mine.

Tim said...

I visited a local churchyard a few months ago and read the names on the memorial. There were so many recurring surnames, from both wars. Whole generations wiped out for nothing.
Sorry, I'll lighten up next time!

Z said...

I went to the Remembrance Day assembly at the local high school on Friday, Yaya. 950 teenagers sat in total silence for 40 minutes, a very powerful message given.

Me too, Tim x

Pat said...

Would Horlicks help? We occasionally turn to it.
I've been waking very early and drop off trying to remember my prayers.
Listening to a tape - like Land Girls for instance is very soporific - it the Sage agrees.

chairwoman said...

For our tomorrow, they gave their today.

My daughter now watches the Remembrance Day Service on the television with me, as I did with my mother.

Although we're Jewish, we know all the hymns, and sing along.

I am never sure whether I am more moved by Nimrod (Elgar is my favourite composer, his music sounds like England looks. The Chairman's favourite piece was the Allegro for Strings which we had played at his funeral for the entrance of the coffin. We did however leave to Ray Charles "Come Back Baby". I didn't see the significance at the time, just his all-time favourite song) or the Last Post.

My uncle, one of the few, is still with us at 91, and I will always be grateful to the young men who went to war so that freedom could prevail.

LẌ said...

In the US Navy, Eternal Father is known as The Navy Hymn, with lyrics for various components.

LẌ said...
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LẌ said...
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Z said...

The only pattern is, once I'm wide awake I can't drop off again. Last night again, I slept briefly and then was awake all night. I am sure I'll sleep tonight, I'm evidently tense (my jaw aches, I'm clenching my teeth so) but once I catch up with everything, it should be better.

Dearest Chairwoman, I think that faith should unite, not divide - and how you live not what you believe, come to that. And, yes.

There was a typo in verse 4, Von LX, and we found ourselves singing "fir and foe" and going 'huh?' I've taken the liberty of deleting the repeats, isn't it a nuisance when it does that? x