Not my normal sort of post and no card. Tomorrow is going to be a very difficult day for me as it's the anniversary of losing my dear Dad, the last year seem to have just disappeared and I still miss him just as much.
Dad farmed all his life and was an avid gardener. The picture above was taken about three years before he died when he was out shooting with his Labrador Emma..........I know many do not agree with shooting and hunting sports, but when you live by the land it's an integral part of everyday life. Dad always provided for us with fresh garden produce and game and when I was younger I was encourage to ride and hunted to the hounds with Dad often following on foot or on his bicycle.
As an only child it fell upon me to deal with things when Dad died and I chose to have him buried just yards from where the above picture was taken.......in one of only three consecrated woodland burial grounds in the UK, which just happens to be in the village Dad lived and where I was born and brought up........and on land Dad once farmed before he retired when it was handed back to the University.......much of the arable farmland in Cambridgeshire is University owned.
It just felt right and where I think Dad would have chosen had he been able to make the decision himself. Visiting him there is an uplifting experience and there are none of the sombre shadows I always associate with conventional graveyards. Graves are set within wooded glades, I chose Clover Glade for Dad and graves are marked simply with a flat oak engraved plaque and planting is restricted to specified wild flowers and trees.........there is a small Oak by his head and I planted Digitalis, Violets and Cowslips which all flowered in their first year and looked absolutely beautiful last Summer and I know Dad would have approved.......as a child he used to walk me across the fields to pick cowslips so they have a very special meaning.
Dad used to grow the most amazing vegetables and flowers and entered them into shows all round the County.........above are some of his prize winning Japanese onions, some could weight as much as four pounds each. I remember many occasions as a child proudly holding the cups and rosettes he had won.
So you can see that all things associated with the land and Nature were bred into me from an early age and have since emerged in my daily crafting activities. Thank you Dad for giving me something so special which is priceless.