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annwfyn: (mood - dandelion thoughts)
Poor John.

I didn't know him very well - he was someone who came to games, who I chatted with on occasion. I remember how helpful he was when I was having a bad time at The Fan Museum - jez got me to e mail him out of the blue because he knew that John was involved with trade unions and thought he might be able to give me some advice. He gave me a lot of advice, and checked back in with me afterwards to see how I was getting along.

He turned up to a bunch of games I was involved with, and played wraiths if he possible could. I think, actually, that's where my other very clear set of memories come from - he was one of the few solid players of [personal profile] twicedead's little wraith game. A WW1 Tommy, I think?

He just always seemed to be a really nice guy. Not a close friend, but someone I liked and valued and always smiled to see. I loved his weird fondness for rabbits. I'll miss him.
annwfyn: (mood - dandelion thoughts)
Poor John.

I didn't know him very well - he was someone who came to games, who I chatted with on occasion. I remember how helpful he was when I was having a bad time at The Fan Museum - jez got me to e mail him out of the blue because he knew that John was involved with trade unions and thought he might be able to give me some advice. He gave me a lot of advice, and checked back in with me afterwards to see how I was getting along.

He turned up to a bunch of games I was involved with, and played wraiths if he possible could. I think, actually, that's where my other very clear set of memories come from - he was one of the few solid players of [personal profile] twicedead's little wraith game. A WW1 Tommy, I think?

He just always seemed to be a really nice guy. Not a close friend, but someone I liked and valued and always smiled to see. I loved his weird fondness for rabbits. I'll miss him.

Ashes...

Apr. 29th, 2008 09:45 am
annwfyn: (love - woman in white)
So, yesterday I went to Devon to join my family in the scattering of my grandfather's ashes.

It was easier than I was expecting, although getting up at 7.30 am on three hours sleep was pretty damn painful. I got the train from Waterloo to Whitchurch, then drove down to Devon with Dad and Penny.

We scattered his ashes on bluebell hill, at Lower Leigh in Devon where he lived until he had to give up farming when he was 80. It's where Grandma's ashes are buried too. It looks out across almost all the farm, even if it is now broken up and farmed by a variety of other people.

I found myself thinking, randomly, about an article I read years ago about pagan burial practices - often people were buried at specific points, often at boundary points, in order to emphasize their group's claim to the land. It was particularly common in Ireland. The idea was that if you were buried somewhere in death, that gave you a perpetual connection to that land, and through that to your bloodline. I think. It was a long time ago that I read it.

I like the idea that Grandad's farm at Lower Leigh - which was a massive part of his identity, and where Grandma's ashes were also scattered - is now his, in some odd way, for ever. He's a part of it, and it's a part of him. His place. And somewhere beautiful and big and open where he can rest, looking down across his place and his space.

That means something.

I got home at around 7 ish and bimbled around the house for a bit. My neck and shoulders are really acting up, so I had a long hot bath, and watched TV. They are worse this morning, and I think I'm getting into a vicious cycle where I get stressed, so they tighten up. Then because I'm in pain, I get snarky and ratty and wind up getting stressed. It's not good.

This morning I'm feeling generally slightly better about the world. I said goodbye to Grandad. And I feel better for letting him go like that.

Ashes...

Apr. 29th, 2008 09:45 am
annwfyn: (love - woman in white)
So, yesterday I went to Devon to join my family in the scattering of my grandfather's ashes.

It was easier than I was expecting, although getting up at 7.30 am on three hours sleep was pretty damn painful. I got the train from Waterloo to Whitchurch, then drove down to Devon with Dad and Penny.

We scattered his ashes on bluebell hill, at Lower Leigh in Devon where he lived until he had to give up farming when he was 80. It's where Grandma's ashes are buried too. It looks out across almost all the farm, even if it is now broken up and farmed by a variety of other people.

I found myself thinking, randomly, about an article I read years ago about pagan burial practices - often people were buried at specific points, often at boundary points, in order to emphasize their group's claim to the land. It was particularly common in Ireland. The idea was that if you were buried somewhere in death, that gave you a perpetual connection to that land, and through that to your bloodline. I think. It was a long time ago that I read it.

I like the idea that Grandad's farm at Lower Leigh - which was a massive part of his identity, and where Grandma's ashes were also scattered - is now his, in some odd way, for ever. He's a part of it, and it's a part of him. His place. And somewhere beautiful and big and open where he can rest, looking down across his place and his space.

That means something.

I got home at around 7 ish and bimbled around the house for a bit. My neck and shoulders are really acting up, so I had a long hot bath, and watched TV. They are worse this morning, and I think I'm getting into a vicious cycle where I get stressed, so they tighten up. Then because I'm in pain, I get snarky and ratty and wind up getting stressed. It's not good.

This morning I'm feeling generally slightly better about the world. I said goodbye to Grandad. And I feel better for letting him go like that.
annwfyn: (love - woman in white)
I don't know how many folk have seen the Cancer Research UK ads - the "I shouldn't be here" campaign. I have embedded a video of it below the cut.

Cancer Research UK ad )

More on the ad and Sally's brainspace about cancer )
annwfyn: (love - woman in white)
I don't know how many folk have seen the Cancer Research UK ads - the "I shouldn't be here" campaign. I have embedded a video of it below the cut.

Cancer Research UK ad )

More on the ad and Sally's brainspace about cancer )
annwfyn: (misc - salt flats)
My father just forwarded an e mail to me, with some tributes that the family have received since Grandad's death.

I'm feeling rather amazed by some of them:





    It is finally too late for our intention to meet him once. We always love Brewer spectrophotometer as it is a very intelligent and valuable instrument. Dr. Alan Brewer will be in our memory although we never met him and his work will be with us for last long.


That's from the Thai Meteorological Department.

Then there's this one:

    I feel very sad to get the news.

    Every people who works associated with the atmospheric ozone layer observation will never
    forget his important contributions.


That's from the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences.

Then there's another:

    I was shocked to learn about Dr.Alan Brewer's death and was deeply saddened by the
    news. Please accept my heartfelt condolences. May the departed soul rest in peace.
    His scientific achievements will be remembered always.


That was from India, and another from Tribuvan University in Nepal read:

    The Ozone study group of Nepal has been deeply shocked to hear the sad news of sudden demise of Prof. Alan Brewer.

    We pray to GOD for the ETERNAL PEACE of the departed soul and offer HEARTFELT CONDOLENCE to you and the family members at this sad moment. Every morning we will be remembering him when we stand near Brewer spectrophotometer. Our contribution to manage a clean environment within the Brewer data would be the everlasting remembrance to Prof Brewer.


I'm feeling slightly in awe, and a little bit tearful reading these...
annwfyn: (misc - salt flats)
My father just forwarded an e mail to me, with some tributes that the family have received since Grandad's death.

I'm feeling rather amazed by some of them:





    It is finally too late for our intention to meet him once. We always love Brewer spectrophotometer as it is a very intelligent and valuable instrument. Dr. Alan Brewer will be in our memory although we never met him and his work will be with us for last long.


That's from the Thai Meteorological Department.

Then there's this one:

    I feel very sad to get the news.

    Every people who works associated with the atmospheric ozone layer observation will never
    forget his important contributions.


That's from the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences.

Then there's another:

    I was shocked to learn about Dr.Alan Brewer's death and was deeply saddened by the
    news. Please accept my heartfelt condolences. May the departed soul rest in peace.
    His scientific achievements will be remembered always.


That was from India, and another from Tribuvan University in Nepal read:

    The Ozone study group of Nepal has been deeply shocked to hear the sad news of sudden demise of Prof. Alan Brewer.

    We pray to GOD for the ETERNAL PEACE of the departed soul and offer HEARTFELT CONDOLENCE to you and the family members at this sad moment. Every morning we will be remembering him when we stand near Brewer spectrophotometer. Our contribution to manage a clean environment within the Brewer data would be the everlasting remembrance to Prof Brewer.


I'm feeling slightly in awe, and a little bit tearful reading these...

Funeral

Dec. 3rd, 2007 07:26 pm
annwfyn: (Mood - fox curled up)
Back from OM's funeral.

It was lovely in the end.

It was held in East Garston village church, which was tiny and lovely. My uncle and aunt both did readings (my poor aunt was wobbly and tearful all the way through hers), and my Dad and John Houghton, who was one of my grandfather's phd students (many years ago) both spoke of Grandad's life.

I got to lay my white rose wrapped up in a painted ribbon on the coffin which meant a lot to me, and found out things about my grandad I never knew. Apparently Brewer-Dobson circulation (named for my Grandfather, who discovered it) is important in stratospheric science - a bit like the gulf stream is when studying ocean currents.

Afterwards we went back to his cottage, and I was asked to take a record of everyone who was there. This may be a flawed record, as I rapidly discovered that I can't tell eminent elderly physicists apart. I, very embarrassingly, asked one man for his name three times. I fear I may have missed some.

[profile] pierot was lovely and supportive, and looked after me lots. After the funeral, he took me out and got me chicken ceasar salad and then I came home.

Hopefully normal service will resume tomorrow...

Funeral

Dec. 3rd, 2007 07:26 pm
annwfyn: (Mood - fox curled up)
Back from OM's funeral.

It was lovely in the end.

It was held in East Garston village church, which was tiny and lovely. My uncle and aunt both did readings (my poor aunt was wobbly and tearful all the way through hers), and my Dad and John Houghton, who was one of my grandfather's phd students (many years ago) both spoke of Grandad's life.

I got to lay my white rose wrapped up in a painted ribbon on the coffin which meant a lot to me, and found out things about my grandad I never knew. Apparently Brewer-Dobson circulation (named for my Grandfather, who discovered it) is important in stratospheric science - a bit like the gulf stream is when studying ocean currents.

Afterwards we went back to his cottage, and I was asked to take a record of everyone who was there. This may be a flawed record, as I rapidly discovered that I can't tell eminent elderly physicists apart. I, very embarrassingly, asked one man for his name three times. I fear I may have missed some.

[profile] pierot was lovely and supportive, and looked after me lots. After the funeral, he took me out and got me chicken ceasar salad and then I came home.

Hopefully normal service will resume tomorrow...
annwfyn: (mood - church/graveyard)
Tonight I've got a ribbon laid out in front of me.

I had a long chat with my Dad yesterday about OM's funeral. I said that basically, it was important to me to be able to contribute something to his funeral that felt personal to me. I raised Raven's suggestion of making a ribbon to wrap around the stem of a flower, and so tonight I am making a ribbon.

I'm trying to pain on it with glitter and glue. It's not brilliant, but it's mine.

I did love my grandad.

It's not been an easy week.

For large chunks of the week I've been horribly on edge. I've been overreacting to things, and getting incredibly upset over nothing. Now, with everything sorted with my family, and nothing really to worry about other than the drive to East Garston on Monday I'm sliding into this odd kind of zen that I had just after Mum died. All the little things just don't seem important now. I've got my friends. I've got my Jeremiah. I've got my little house, with the two cats that yowl to be fed, and curl up around me in the evenings.

That matters.

Nothing else does.

Oh, by the way, in case anyone is wondering, the new title for my LJ comes from a Tennyson poem. It's a Christmas poem that I love very much, and is there only for December.

A poem, for those who are interested )
annwfyn: (mood - church/graveyard)
Tonight I've got a ribbon laid out in front of me.

I had a long chat with my Dad yesterday about OM's funeral. I said that basically, it was important to me to be able to contribute something to his funeral that felt personal to me. I raised Raven's suggestion of making a ribbon to wrap around the stem of a flower, and so tonight I am making a ribbon.

I'm trying to pain on it with glitter and glue. It's not brilliant, but it's mine.

I did love my grandad.

It's not been an easy week.

For large chunks of the week I've been horribly on edge. I've been overreacting to things, and getting incredibly upset over nothing. Now, with everything sorted with my family, and nothing really to worry about other than the drive to East Garston on Monday I'm sliding into this odd kind of zen that I had just after Mum died. All the little things just don't seem important now. I've got my friends. I've got my Jeremiah. I've got my little house, with the two cats that yowl to be fed, and curl up around me in the evenings.

That matters.

Nothing else does.

Oh, by the way, in case anyone is wondering, the new title for my LJ comes from a Tennyson poem. It's a Christmas poem that I love very much, and is there only for December.

A poem, for those who are interested )
annwfyn: (love - woman in white)
My grandfather just died.

I called him Grandad when I was little, but as I grew older I, and my sisters, took to calling him 'OM', short for 'Old Man', which was what my aunt (his daughter) always called him. He was 92 when he died, having lived a really extraordinary life.

He was one of the first scientists to research the ozone layer. He delivered the first ever paper on the subject to the UN, back in the 1950s, and lived long enough to attend a conference held to mark the fiftieth anniversary of this at Oxford University. He was also one of the first scientists to address the UN on some of the issues thrown up by the development on the atomic bomb - specifically what effect these bombs had on the atmosphere and stratosphere.

He was a professor at Oxford University, MIT, and the University of Toronto.

He was a professor of meteorology, a highly skilled carpenter, and was a professional farmer for many years, keeping herds of sheep and cattle at his gorgeous farm in Devon until his late 70s.

He also kept several gallon drums of arsenic in his garden shed. He claimed it was to help his arthritis. No one knew why he needed quite so much, nor why he asked my sister if she could fetch him a small bottle of it when he was confined to a nursing home last year.

He feuded relentlessly with his neighbours over the boundary line between their houses, ultimately deciding to take matters into his own hands. He chopped down the boundary fence with a chainsaw. What was particularly alarming about this was that he was 90 years old at the time, and allegedly only able to walk with a zimmer frame.

He loathed the concept of taxation, and therefore always insisted on addressing all letters to the Inland Revenue with such phrases as 'To the Bloodsucking Leeches of the Government'. They always replied quite politely, which didn't deter him from continuing with his letter writing campaigns.

He only stopped doing handbrake turns in his car when he was in his seventies. He remained, however, a truly terrifying driver. I still remember with terror the one time he drove me from my home in Lambourn to the train station, twenty minutes away.

He was, in many ways, incredibly eccentric. I always thought that was because he was a genius, and that was what they did. I admired him, I loved him, and I will miss him terribly.

Rest in peace, OM.
annwfyn: (love - woman in white)
My grandfather just died.

I called him Grandad when I was little, but as I grew older I, and my sisters, took to calling him 'OM', short for 'Old Man', which was what my aunt (his daughter) always called him. He was 92 when he died, having lived a really extraordinary life.

He was one of the first scientists to research the ozone layer. He delivered the first ever paper on the subject to the UN, back in the 1950s, and lived long enough to attend a conference held to mark the fiftieth anniversary of this at Oxford University. He was also one of the first scientists to address the UN on some of the issues thrown up by the development on the atomic bomb - specifically what effect these bombs had on the atmosphere and stratosphere.

He was a professor at Oxford University, MIT, and the University of Toronto.

He was a professor of meteorology, a highly skilled carpenter, and was a professional farmer for many years, keeping herds of sheep and cattle at his gorgeous farm in Devon until his late 70s.

He also kept several gallon drums of arsenic in his garden shed. He claimed it was to help his arthritis. No one knew why he needed quite so much, nor why he asked my sister if she could fetch him a small bottle of it when he was confined to a nursing home last year.

He feuded relentlessly with his neighbours over the boundary line between their houses, ultimately deciding to take matters into his own hands. He chopped down the boundary fence with a chainsaw. What was particularly alarming about this was that he was 90 years old at the time, and allegedly only able to walk with a zimmer frame.

He loathed the concept of taxation, and therefore always insisted on addressing all letters to the Inland Revenue with such phrases as 'To the Bloodsucking Leeches of the Government'. They always replied quite politely, which didn't deter him from continuing with his letter writing campaigns.

He only stopped doing handbrake turns in his car when he was in his seventies. He remained, however, a truly terrifying driver. I still remember with terror the one time he drove me from my home in Lambourn to the train station, twenty minutes away.

He was, in many ways, incredibly eccentric. I always thought that was because he was a genius, and that was what they did. I admired him, I loved him, and I will miss him terribly.

Rest in peace, OM.

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