Hub is in N Ireland at present: his aunt, the last of his mother’s sisters, died last Thursday and the funeral was Saturday. There were 400 people at the service including his 24 cousins – those Irish know how to do a good funeral! Auntie Vera was a farmer’s daughter and wife, who had a very demanding life, with two severely-disabled children one of whom died in her twenties. The other is now in his 50s and gets around remarkably well with specially-adapted kit.
You’d never think she had a hard life. She was invariably welcoming and loved nothing better than people sitting down with her in her kitchen to eat and have some craic … and she was famous for saying goodbye and then not letting you go, even standing at the window of the car and talking for another half-hour
Hub’s favourite story? One day Auntie Vera discovered a burglar in her house. She put on the kettle and made him a cup of tea. As you do. She sat him down and they got chatting, and soon she’d had his whole life story (he was on drugs) – and had done what she enjoyed most …. working out who his family was.
They don’t make ’em like her any more!
Rest in peace, Auntie Vera.