Well, we finally stumbled through the door after our marathon trip round Britain for Dave's grandmother's funeral. Cumbria to London via North Wales, and back, in two days flat is NO JOKE, but we're glad we went to support the rest of the family and join in the occasion.
These things are always sad, but this particular one was also fascinating. Dave's grandmother was born and brought up in the east end of London over ninety years ago, and the funeral followed east-end tradition with a carriage and four matched black horses with huge black plumes on their head-harnesses instead of a hearse, plus a procession through the local streets. The cortege consisted of a standard hearse filled to the brim with flowers, the carriage, three limousines stuffed with family, and at least two ordinary cars following on behind. It travelled at a slow horse-walking-pace along the local high street (where it stopped the traffic and people were so amazed they were taking photos) and then all the way to the crematorium, about five miles away across a couple of London suburbs. It was quite a sight, and a lovely way to make sure the event was remembered for good reasons as well as sad ones.
The carriage was rather like this one, except that we had four horses: