Things have become clearer in my mind as to what happens next in my life. I am not half the man I used to be – I had thought that for a while. Mary was in very many ways my ‘better half’ and over the many wonderful years we were together she ‘improved’ me. Not overtly with arguments but subtly by example, opening up to me, showing me her ‘weaknesses’.
I was forty-seven when I met her, with two failed marriages behind me. Yet she saw something she liked and was prepared to take on.
Now that is not what I intended to say when I sat down – and it got more difficult as I went on (it’s hard to write with tears in your eyes.)
Anyway what I wanted to say is that even as just me I am going to continue to use the social media handle of ‘YokellCouple’ on this Blog, and on Instagram, YouTube and a Facebook page. Mary had her individual FB account that I did a few posts on, but that just didn’t seem right, so I’ve created my own (thankfully all Mary’s FB friends have added me as well).
Mary passed away on 23rd May, my birthday is 22nd June, but she had the foresight to order my birthday present early from Amazon. She told me she had, but when it arrived made me promise not to open it until the day. I was pretty sure I knew what it was – you know the way couples hint at things they see with a ‘that looks nice/interesting’ sounding out their partner for potential gifts.
I was good and didn’t open it until my birthday – to be honest I almost forgot about it, busying myself with the memorials I wanted to produce for her as well as all the official stuff that needed to be done.
Anyway it turned out to be the book ‘Remarkable Village Cricket Grounds’ which describes ninety plus idyllic village cricket grounds around mainland UK.
For those that don’t know cricket is the only sport that both Mary and I enjoyed watching – both on TV and in person.
So after flicking through the pages, getting a feel for it, I started to wonder if Mary had other ideas in mind when she picked it for me. Now I can’t be sure but I think she had in mind that I could travel around in Voyager and visit all of the grounds for myself. So that is what I will do, not all of the time of course but it will ensure I get to see more of our lovely island than I ever would have.
To that end I did the nearest one to home recently, a pub with its own cricket ground attached – with a team made up of locals.
I had a delicious ‘Covid safe’ meal on an outdoor picnic table near the boundary.
Instead of chatting as I would have had Mary been with me I posted a couple of photos on Facebook and ‘chatted’ with friends who commented.
The title of this Blog is the first comment I received – from Mary’s sister Lynn.
This will be my new normal.