June 15th, 2007

Give me rock or give me death

Bit of strange one

So on Tuesday I flew off to Limoges for my stepfather's funeral. I didn't really know Frank that well, he arrived on the scene as I was leaving for England but I did go to the wedding in Leeds and my mum and him were good for each other. He liked Westerns so I kept them stocked with the latest in Deadwood or whatever.

The Dordogne is a strange place, particularly that bit in which much of my family live. The only locals that I interacted with on my stay, apart from airport officials, were the waitress at the local restaurant, Phillipe the undertaker and the members of the Société des Beaux Arts du Périgord. Pretty much everyone else was English except for Mum's friend Josi who was on holiday from Belgium and had got caught up in all this and my brother in law Bruno who's also Belgian.

So it was strange middle world of castles, drinking champage in a medieval courtyard, flashfloods that filled my mum's yard with 4 inches of mud, fantastic art (both mum and Frank are artists of no mean skill), bilingual adults, trilingual children, eating every bit of a duck except the hard bits, doing simultaneous translation of a eulogy that contained the word "frostbite", defusing family arguments, seeing Franks corpse on a special freezer table in my mum's backroom, sleeping in an old station building, nightingales singing all night and a discussion on the difficulties that the English in talking to people in shops with a former football adversary.

That probably covered about half of what went on during the 48 hours I was in France.

So here's to you Frank, your train has left the station for the last time but it had certainly been places and seen things.


Obituary in the Sud-Ouest, in French.