10 January 2005
Good news - the Ham with a Black Glaze is really rather good. Much more caramelised than carbonised, even after so much too long in the oven. Perhaps I should develop a whole range, and market them as funeral baked meats - Ďwe only cook them black because no oneís invented a darker colour yetí.
As it happens, I was at a funeral this afternoon. My wee friend Murdy; he was twenty-five, which is just an invitation to turn morbid. Last time I buried a boy in his twenties, I was much the same age myself, and it was as it were the beginning of the long parade.
Never mind. Those were the dark days; things have calmed down in the last ten years or so, what with retrovirals and combination therapies, people donít die the way they used to. At least this side of the globe, they donít.
Never mind. I went this afternoon with my long-time best friend Ian, who has lost both his nephew and his father this last fortnight; must be the season. But what was striking, what is an absolute in Ianís life was how much family had turned out. He has one of those long, complicated, extended families with multiple marriages in every generation (a tradition he continues, bless him - Iíve been his best man twice), and everyone who could have been there was. The church was crowded, and three-quarters of them were related, one way or another. I cannot imagine actually being part of such a family (so okay, Iím adopted and I know them all and theyíre all sweet to me, but itís still not the same), but it is rather wonderful when you watch it at work.
© Chaz Brenchley 2005
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.