Lizzie's funeral was an early one, 10am in Ballyclare. Due to the pandemic restrictions, only a handful of people were able to attend. Lizzie was a well-liked woman, and even though many of her friends and relatives had died before her if these were normal times the church would have been full. In normal times the service would have been in church. In normal times there would have been a queue of people waiting to give the coffin a lift, but today that job was left to four men, three in their seventies and one (Bert) a mere lad in his early sixties. That is what happens when a person gets to be ninety, a person without issue and all that is left is a solitary nephew and a handful of cousins.
Last Monday, Zoe offered to come out today to help Bert plant the bundle of native trees bought to replace the larches that had succumbed to ramorum disease. It was a great day for it, mild and dry and the ground still soft enough to make planting easy. We planted around 150 bare root saplings and a few in pots. While we were planting them Zoe suggested we call the stand of new trees Lizzie's Wood. So we will. Lizzie would have been tickled pink to hear that. In years to come, we might walk through the new planting and listen to the birds singing in the branches and remember Lizzie and how much she loved the 'wee birds'. I will remember too how much she disliked the bigger birds, the jackdaws, crows and jays and most villainous of all, in her book, the sparrowhawk.
Off to the wood, Martha at the wheel.
And, for the day that's in it...
From the days before tractors - a very young Lizzie with her father's farm horse. Used for ploughing and other jobs, he was also a much-loved family friend.