Pooh sticks and ashes

So, I know a few of my friends wanted an update on this…

For those of you who don’t know, my Grandad died earlier this year. He left strict instructions for the spreading of his and my Granny’s ashes. Those instructions went like this…

“Disposal of the ashes of Betty & Ken on their wedding anniversary on October 6th at 2.30-3.00pm at the Chinese Bridge Godmanchester.”

Normal so far…

Ashes instructions He wanted my Mum and Dad; and my Uncle and Aunt, to play pooh sticks as they threw the ashes over the bridge. Myself, my brother and my cousin were to also take part “if available”.

We also had a new addition to the family who came along, my cousin Sarah’s baby son, Spike.

Things didn’t quite go to plan, the bridge my Grandad specified was closed for repairs. The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed in his instructions that he thought ahead for such a situation, and named an alternative bridge. However, the river was being drained and wasn’t flowing at the alternative bridge. So, we went for a different bridge nearby that was flowing and looked nice, rather than stagnant and full of rotten apples.

Me deciding not to stand down-wind of the ashes
Me deciding not to stand down-wind of the ashes

There was also another issue we knew about in advance; while Grandad’s ashes were a normal dusty ash-like consistency, Granny’s had been in the garden for a good few years and had got a bit wet. This meant hers were more like mud.

Also, I don’t know if you’ve ever distributed ashes, but there’s a hell of a lot of it. A lot more than you’d expect…

So, while my dad had to give Granny’s tub a good whack, my aunty Belinda released a cloud of my Grandad’s ashes. See the picture of me running across to the other side of the bridge to avoid it.

Meanwhile, no-one noticed which of the pooh-sticks was first to the other side. So, we did a re-run with one leafy stick and one non-leafy stick. Grandad was the leafy one and made a good start but got stuck in some branches already in the river, while Granny sailed on by.

We then had a glass of wine in memory of them both and headed to the pub…

We also had a meal together the night before, at which a fair amount of wine was consumed, which I think is what my Grandad would have wanted..


Laura Chamberlain

Laura is a writer blogging about living with chronic illness, namely Lyme Disease, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS) and Fibromylagia.

She likes food, cats, bad jokes. Unfortunately, her boyfriend is allergic to the last two...

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