I suppose at our age we have to expect going to the occasional funeral, but in the last 12 months we have been to 2 funerals of very close friends. The first was 12 months ago of Andy who had been a trustee of our Nepal charity and a mountaineering friend for almost 20 years. The second was a few days back in Llandudno, the funeral of Jed my longest standing friend for 52 years. Jed and I had been best man at each others’ wedding and across those 52 years of friendship we had climbed mountains in Scotland, Wales, England, France, Switzerland, and Nepal. It was difficult but a privilege however to be asked to speak at Jed’s funeral in the presence of his sister, his daughters, nephew, niece, and his many friends from the different parts of his life.
My memories of him related to our time together in the 1960s as fans of Jethro Tull, self proclaimed experts on the history of Chester, dedicated followers of 60s fashion, one of us immortalised in the climbing guidebook “Clwyd Limestone”, one of us more at home on snow and ice rather than rock.
After the funeral Dr C and I drove to Chester and spent a couple of days visiting old haunts where Jed, Andy and I had spent many an hour exploring the difference between the ales of Sam Smith, Greenall Whitley, and Burtonwood in The Boot, The Vic and The Cross Keys. It was a pleasant hour in Chester’s “other” cathedral too, St John’s in Vicars Lane, originally founded by King Æthelred in 689AD and a Cathedral only in the period 1075 to 1095, but only we Chester history experts would know that! Or know that the clock above the Eastgate was built by Jed’s great grandfather in 1897! But do you know where is the steepest hill inside the city walls, whether you can get a half pint in Snow Whites, or what happened to the throne in the Kings Arms Kitchen. Take your time!
Categories: Philosophy & Psychology