Happy Christmas, Mum

A wood pigeon’s plaintive mating call filled the air this mild morning. When, at mid-morning, he ceased his mournful cry, it seemed to be more to do with the steady downpour of rain that set in for the day, than to do with his luck having changed.

Jackie and I made a start on Christmas cards, and, Ferndene Farm Shop having sold out,  bought a tree at Redcliffe Nurseries.

Jackie, Ron, Helen, Bill and ShellyBill, Helen. Shelly, Jackie, Derrick

This afternoon we joined Shelly and Helen and their husbands Ron and Bill, for the annual laying of a wreath on the sisters’ mother’s plot in the Woodland Burial Ground at Walkford. Rain poured down all the time. We had a few words, then wished Mum a Happy Christmas and repaired to Shelly and Ron’s nearby home where we enjoyed sandwiches, pork pie, canapés, cakes, mince pies, mulled wine, red and white wine, and coffee. We reminisced into the evening. I was still wet through when we returned home at about 7.30.

There was a general agreement that Mum Rivett would have questioned our sanity in weathering such elements.


  1. I think that is a lovely tradition to have for a mother. Worth getting a bit damp for really, especially if followed by pork pie and various other Christmas fare and imbibable products 🙂

  2. The Chinese have two traditional days of grave visiting: 清明qingming on the fourth day of the fourth lunar month and 重陽 chongyang on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month. Spring and Autumn. When I was young, my mother would shut us up whenever we’re too noisy by saying, “Be quiet! Save it till the grave visiting day!”. In Cantonese: 留番拜山時至講!In other words, tell me when I’m dead (I don’t want to hear it).

      1. My mother received no formal education but she did have a unique pattern of speech. Like when we’d made a mess she’d say ‘this is as chaotic as the seven kingdoms!’ referring the period before the first emperor ‘united’ China. 🙂

  3. Such a sweet way to shoe the sisters mum your respects. I can picture my Mom saying, “You’ll catch your death of cold, Robin. Don’t you have sense enough to get in out of the rain?” 🙂 Derrick, pork pie and mince pie with mulled wine would be heavenly. Hope you stay healthy!

  4. I’ve been thinking of a woodland burial when the time comes, it seems a pleasant enough place to go. Of course, it’s even better if you get to go home for turkey and crumble.

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