Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Not A Bad Place To Be.


I was in the middle of doing my Nanette Newman bit,arranging buddleia flowers in the window yesterday morning, when a villager out with his dog called over with the somewhat enigmatic comment
" I see Pippa's now got a herd of alpacas"
Now Pippa is Trelawnyd's version of Lynda Snell from The Archers who lives in the old Rectory which is the biggest house in the village. My field is seperated from her glebe field by the new graveyard, so still in my slippers I climbed over the Church wall and walked through the Churchyard to have a look.
You have to look very close to see them

They seem so incredibly shy

It was difficult to see much in the long grass, but sitting quiety in the sun, I could just make out three slender heads and necks , three sets of fluffy ears and three pairs of eyes watching me carefully from the glebe.
An old man, I didn't recognise was sat on one of the churchyard benches and he called over " Are they llamas?"
" I think they are alpacas" I told him, even though I wasn't exactly sure.
I had started to shuffle back in my slippers when the man started to chat idly, like people do in warm sunshine
He commented about the warm weather, he complemented how neat and tidy the graveyard was and he complained that the Church wasn't left open as the ones in Gweanysgor and Llanasa always seem to do . " When it's wet, I would like to sit in the Church when I Come" he said.
I sat down for a while, tucking my slippers out of sight underneath the bench and we chatted for a while. I didn't ask his name  and he didn't ask mine.
After a slight lull in the conversation,and as I was just about to leave , the man piped up
" It was sad do about that ballet dancer being killed in London"
I agreed and told him that I had seen Jonathon Ollivier dance at Sadler's Wells a while back in Swan Lake

" I wonder where he will be buried? " the old guy mused, and added
" My wife is buried here"
I nodded and he sighed
" It's not a bad place to be ........" He pointed to the riding stables beyond the fence " Horses on one side, chickens and geese on the other ( he was referring to my field) and now alpacas over here....my wife loved animals "
I stopped to look at the view by the rows of neat graves , graves holding quite a few of the villagers I had gotten to know over our decade and told the man that I would like to be buried here, even though, I thought The Prof and I could by then be anywhere else in the Uk....
" It's not a bad place to be " I agreed



53 comments:

  1. It would be a beautiful place to be. How lovely that the villagers can have a final resting place like that--with so much life going on around them, and the living can enjoy a quiet moment when visiting.

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  2. The simple pleasures of life and death in a small town, makes us want to move there.

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  3. Lovely gentle post John. And true.
    We have a couple of alpacas quite near to us. They are very nosey once they get used to you.

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  4. nope, trelawnyd is NOT a bad place to be. and we are all jealous of you.

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    1. There are many beautiful places such as this in the UK and the wider world A M.

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    2. I agree; we have many in this country also. but I am a city girl and love my hometown of philadelphia and always will.

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    3. This does not quite fit with your comment to John but maybe your meaning was hidden in the capital letters.

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  5. What else is there to say :)

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  6. I was stunned to hear about Jonathan. He was a lovely bloke - and he had a lovely wife too. A tragic loss.

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  7. Thank you John, you are my daily touchstone for the unexpected, bizarre, humorous, shocking, touching, tear inducing, heart wrenching and all around exposure to a exceptionally wonderful person. Marilyn

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    1. Thank you... Sorry i took so long to answer... One old friend has just turned up to visit x

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  8. I don't like the sound of "the Prof and I could by then be anywhere else in the UK...." You have hinted at this before and I have my doubts as to the wisdom of uprooting from your little paradise. Unless wherever you are going you'll be able to establish a flock (both human and animal) to look after I can't see you happy, John.

    Hug,
    U

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    1. Long tome no hear ursula

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    2. Yes, I know, John. And I am sorry. You, better than a lot, know there is usually a reason for anything. Remember our conversation when you said you preferred shit to vomit and I said I prefer vomit to shit and what an excellent team we'd make? It's a bit like that. And before you slay me for being cryptic: Life moves in mysterious ways and before you know it it's sucked down the drain hole.

      U

      PS I thought the Delicious Jason's aka Divine Despot's vegetable entry most deserving. Dressing that butternut squash in an aubergine cloak has a touch of the outrageous and brilliant John Galliano's genius..

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  9. It is definitely not a bad place to be. You made me cry, John :)

    The farm up the hill from my house has llamas .. there are alpaca farms nearby .. they are a little like creatures from other planets ..

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  10. It is a lovely tidy yard and so nice to be surrounded by open areas and animals. We have a lovely big pine tree right next to our spot of choice (or as well call it, our vacation home lol).

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  11. I just sold my little city house and will be looking for a house to live in - leaving the farm. I took my grandkids out to the field late last night to watch the meteor shower and the sky was full of stars. It is the thing I will miss the most.

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  12. Went back to the wee town where the largest part of my family lived, and stopped by the cemetery where most of them are now buried.

    Stood amongst the oldest graves, at the top of the hill, and I also thought: not a bad place to be.

    Funny how places find a way to fit themselves in our hearts.

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  13. It sounds just about as good as it gets to be honest! The Alpacas being a bonus, of course!

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  14. Where else can you find such a comfortable conversation with a stranger? Fine place to be. I don't think I would move ...

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  15. The view from your window across the garden is quite charming and I think that being buried in the village graveyard, surrounded by pastoral life would be highly desirable .

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  16. A lovely post John. A quiet and thoughtful conversation with a stranger. Such contrast to the lively flower show you entertained us with just a few days ago.

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  17. What many would find peaceful, I find melancholy. There is just something about the quiet that is different from anywhere else. I know it is just my imagination, and the knowledge of all the lives now gone, but there it is. Not what I intended to write when I put my fingers to the keys - sorry ...

    Your flowers are a beautiful rich shade of pink. Gorgeous.

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  18. Adore the flowers in the window.
    What a wonderful little adventure you had this morning.
    A slice of life.

    cheers, parsnip

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  19. I know I am looking ahead but for a relatively small advance I will be happy to dig your grave for you. Don't worry about the spade. I shall supply my own. How deep do you want it?

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    1. , six feet ...i have to get my big head in

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    2. Do you plan to be buried standing up John ?

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  20. You are a wonderful man John Gray. Bless your heart. X

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  21. Lovely indeed, seems like a great town with good people. Greetings!

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  22. Lovely post! It will be a sad day when and if you leave Trelawnyd. I'm sure you would be missed by many. If it were me, I think the Prof would have to do a little extra commuting!

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  23. Not a bad place at all.

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  24. I've already got my grave booked and paid for, right there on top of my husband's coffin.

    Alpacas are ludicrously pretty, they hardly look like real animals with their huge eyes, long necks and topknots.

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  25. Definitely a restful place to be. You brought tears to my eyes with this post, John. xx

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  26. I'll come by and visit you, John. Unfortunately it will be from a distance since my ashes will be deposited in the ocean but I will make it a point to float by....

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  27. Indeed it does look like a nice place to be....

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  28. For the moment, it's where you're supposed to be. x

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  29. a small English village? nope not too shabby.

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    1. English? Bloody hell lass, don't spark a riot! Trelawnyd is most definitely Welsh!

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  30. No matter where you are living when THE time comes, no reason you shouldn't be laid to rest in Trelawnyd.
    We live across the street from the oldest cemetery in the area. It's beautiful. We decided a few years ago that no matter where we might move in the future that's where we wanted to end up. We bought our spots and its quite comforting to know that's where we will be.
    Sad that the old chap can't sit in the church when he visits. A sign of the times I guess. Is there not a key holder nearby that could open up for him?
    Llamas and alpacas, both cute neighbours to have..x

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  31. What a lovely post. Going Gently indeed. ❤

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  32. My husband died suddenly unexpectedly 3 months after we came back from Buenos Aires and moved into our new house here in NY State.
    I have muddled along with the help of a sweet sweet neighbor and my cat...now it is cats .. Yes, I might be on the way to old lady catdom.
    I would love to live in a village where everyone knows you and I would know them and know that when the time comes, my ashes would be scattered with my husbands in some nice garden sort of spot. As it is .. I sit here in NY and wish he was here and I were not even thinking of such things.

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    1. I cant say much
      But
      Hugs xxx

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  33. You still surprise me sometimes, John. I don't like to cry.

    Wonderful story.

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  34. Oh John, You must positively reek of empathy. That old guy caught the sent and knew he could connect with you. I read your blog (somehow !?) a few months ago and felt the same. Your readers leave comments that are so open and comfortable that they must feel the same way. Well done, "Going Gently" !

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  35. Why do people keep Alpacas? I believe their wool is used for something, but I've never seen Alpaca Steaks on sale anywhere. Are they just big outdoor pets?

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    1. Alpaca wool makes wonderful yarn. There are a few alpaca farms near me, and one specializes in breeding, which apparently is quite lucrative. The farmer explained to me that alpacas are no longer shipped outside South America (at least not to the US), so breeding has come into its own.

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  36. My horse never could get used to alpacas. It's the long necks, I think. Alpacas and camels sent her into a spin every time. I feel a bit the same. I can read the body language of our more familiar animals easily but I can never tell what an alpaca is thinking! Yes it looks like a pretty good resting place to me too.

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    1. My daughter has two alpacas. They are gentle, curious creatures with beautiful eyes but they can be quite difficult to read. The only body language I've come to understand is when their ears go back and their chins tip up. Then I know a spit is coming!

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  37. What a wonderful post based on a chance encounter. For just a moment I envied the dead. Thanks for sharing this, John.

    BTW - have you ever heard from Hippo? No posts for 5 months....

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    1. Funnily enough I have. I emailed him several times but had no answer..then i emailed him a rather curt message and got one back...he's not good, still off the booze but is having major problems with his leg again

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    2. I had also been thinking of Tom/Hippo and wondered how he was doing. Please pass along my best regards.

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  38. I hadn't heard about poor Jonathon. Saw him last year in Glasgow. How tragic for his family. I think that Alpacas are rather graceful and elegant. There is something about village life which is infuriating (everyone knows your business) and reassuring (people are there for you). From my Scottish village to your Welsh one with best wishes.

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