Hello! I am safely back in Leeds writing this ensconced in the bedroom, window open and a teeeeny bit of sunshine peeking through the clouds whilst I curse the fact I brought up a tea and now it has gone cold. It has been a tough 2 weeks but it has had some lovely moments, thankfully life can be kind too. So, shall we catch up?
I last left you a few days before the funeral, I was getting anxious. So much so I took the rash decision to lop about 4 inches of hair off! The Thursday beforehand was actually quite the bittersweet day. A lot of friends and family descended on Stamford ahead of the funeral. Mum was finally laid to rest that morning so she was available to visit. I will be honest with you, I didn't know whether to see her or not. My sister and I had a 2 oclock appointment and walked down in to town. On the way I saw my oldest and bestest friend Katie. I really appreciated that she came down. One of the best memories I have of her and mum is her always looking at the beginning of the week at the 'menu' mum used to write up, and deciding which days she would attend dinner. Ha. She also happens to live in Leeds but we went to primary and secondary school together so she grew up in Stamford. This was her first time back in 7 years so she was off to explore whilst we visited the chapel of rest. My god it was a warm day and I didn't think through my outfit of tweed skirt and tights.
I think years down the line I will be glad to have gone in and seen her, seeing her looking peaceful was definitely better than the last time I saw her. But I don't know. It wasn't my mum? It's not how I remember her or how I want to remember her. I would like to know if you've had a similar experience? Maybe it was just me. We left my Dad to go in and Lili and I sat on a wall in the car park looking across the pretty rooftops whilst we waited for him to say his goodbyes.
It was then gin time. We met up with Katie, my auntie and cousin were down from scotland, my nana and uncle were also across from other side of Lincs. We sat in the garden of a bar, had gin and enjoyed the sunshine. We picked up a load of flowers to decorate the wake venue, we went up there and popped lots of beautiful smelling spring blooms in to jam jars and vases. Michael then arrived from up North and we checked back in to The George. I had a passion fruit sorbet and tried to sleep. Think I managed about 3 hours.
I have never been to a funeral before. I knew what to expect as I had planned it with Dad but I was unsure what emotions I was going to feel, overwhelming sadness? Closure? Peace? Who knew. I woke up at 7.30, had a bath and we were on the road to the Crematorium by 9.30. The drive there was peaceful and sun was trying to break its way through the early morning mist. On arrival there were a load of people waiting to go in to another service. I have figured out this industry...like fast food funerals, one in one out. We then congregated and waited for the hearse and the rest of my family to arrive (I chose to not go in the family car and have Michael take me so I could get there early and breathe).
There were so many people, I couldn't believe it. So many I hadn't seen probably since our wedding. Some even longer than that, and many I didn't even know. The Crematorium was packed, all seats taken, then standing room only at the back. It made me oddly happy and something I think we all wish for.
Entrance music - Cant Help Falling In Love - Elvis
Committal - English Rose - Paul Wellar.
Exit Music - Do I Love You (Indeed I Do) - Frank Wilson
The celebrant was amazing, he met us for an hour and composed the most beautiful eulogy. None of us as family felt we could hold it together to get any words out at the service and I worried a little that there would be no heart, but I was very wrong. The service was as lovely as it could have been and the flowers that adorned her coffin were just beautiful, mum would have definitely approved. Thank you Miss Pickering!
We exited through a different door, probably so the mourners for the next service were gathered and waiting. We walked through a weird wooden walkway to a round area filled with flowers from other peoples coffins. Thought that was weird. Found mums name and then I felt I just needed to go. Swiftly went through all the pretty back roads back to Stamford and to the wake. We had a life size cardboard cut out of Elvis perched by the bar, lots of flowers everywhere and slowly the venue filled up with so many more people.
I realised funerals are a lot like weddings, you have all the pomp and circumstance then you can let loose a little. I had plenty of gin and made sure I said hello to everyone that was there. The sun shone. It was a 'good shit day' as my Dad put it. I managed my anxiety, I think what I was feeling was totally normal, I cried, I smiled and I guess I felt a little relieved afterwards?
I was meant to go back up to Leeds on the Saturday but I felt I just couldn't manage it so Michael headed back up North, we went for a curry with the Scottish contingent and I slept well. Sunday, and I didn't go back up North, I stayed in bed for most of the day actually.
On Monday I was packed and ready to head back north. I went for one final walk around town. I will miss it immensely. I love having everything within walking distance, it makes life so much easier and more relaxed. I bought gin to take back. Met dad in the pub, then saw the weather turn torrential. I hate travelling in bad weather so called it off. Tuesday it will be.
The journey up was awful for many reasons but predominantly because I didn't want to leave Dad. Our 1 and a half hour journey took 3 hours because I wanted to keep stopping to catch my breathe. Some service stations close after 9pm...whats that about?! We got to Leeds eventually. I sat in the new pink sofa, had some rice then got in to the bed I had been dreaming about for weeks.
People keep asking me if I am happy to be home. Yes and no. I had only been in here for 3 weeks so it still doesn't feel like home. I have a lot of feelings and I am not sure where to put them all. Sadness is coming out as anger, or frustration. When I feel happy I check myself and wonder if I am just pretending to feel happy. I bet I am a right joy to live with. This week I have only left the house twice and that was to walk the dog briefly. I am sure I will get my spark back but I am not going to rush it. I have had some wobbles, when the new sofa arrived the first thing I thought to do was text mum a picture then realised I couldn't. That hurt a lot, it was the first time I properly realised she wasn't at the end of the phone, and never will be. I took one of her scarves back up with me and I unpacked it and smelt it. I never want that smell to fade but I know it will.
Some things I am throwing myself in to are instagram/Simply Weekend and the gardens (plural cos I am a fancy bish). I uploaded a pic of the pink sofa, gained 200 followers and got over 1k likes. I realised that really, whilst I think Stamford is gorgeous, more people love a pink chair. I have been approached by brands over the last couple of weeks and I have been waiting to get back up here to decide what to do. One of them is Cox and Cox, I already have bought so much from them that I said that I would love to work with them, but I am unsure on the others. I am used to the whole ad/sponsored content with So You're Getting Married but when I started this (nearly a year ago!) I wasn't sure where I wanted this blog to go, but I am going to take on a few projects to see if it fits well.
Secondly, the garden! I have ordered a load of stuff from amazon from potting tables to bird feeders and I am super excited about starting on the gardens. Chill vibes for the roof terrace then more planted borders/florals for the walled garden downstairs. I look forward to keeping you updated on this as it all progresses. The garden isn't huge but its going to be lovely in the summer and we got to use the roof terrace for the first time on Saturday and being up there in 5pm sunshine was just glorious. The white decking reflects the sun then the walls trap it, it gets so hot all the way till the sun sets. So lucky and a big change from our old east facing back to back!
I have that Stamford guide to finish and this week I am going to start putting together vlog content, I can't even remember what I filmed but something will be going live next Sunday. Then Weekend Edits will be going live on Mondays from now on. Hope that's ok?
I have received some lovely things from colleagues (my fellow wedding blogger friends), neighbours who I have met once, people on instagram that I don't even know, and friends and family and I am just overwhelmed. I won't write a long winded paragraph about appreciating the people in your life because life is short bla bla bla...but ya know. Ok, I have waffled at you enough. I am off to make a cup of tea, open some chocolate that I was sent and watch Ordeal by Innocence in the bath. Have a lovely week!