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Julia's funeral

25 April 2005

As it happens, I did go off to Glasgow, but not because I was bored. I don't think I understand adult boredom as a concept; certainly I don't experience it. There is always too much to do, and most of that in my head, things queued up waiting for my mind to engage with them.

In fact I went to Glasgow for a crimewriting conference, but not before I went to Julia's funeral on Friday. It was a wonderful occasion, wonderfully sad and stirring; Charlie Hardwick called it a Geordie state funeral, and she wasn't far wrong. Many hundreds of people, standing room only in a fabulous chandeliered hall; lots of poems and songs and remembrances, spontaneous applause for her partner Bev and then again for Julia herself as she went off in her horse-drawn hearse. It's an outrage that she's gone, but her leaving was as charming, as moving, as witty as she was herself. It was always one of her gifts, that she could transfer her own idiosyncratic good cheer to other people; it was no surprise to any of us, that she could still do that all through the process of her dying and beyond.

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© Chaz Brenchley 2005
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.