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Saturday, April 15, 2006

In Memoriam

We are not so tucked away that news hasn't reached me of author Muriel Spark's death at 88, last Thursday in a Florence hospital.

I first read her at 17 to annoy my English master and show off to fellow aesthetes. Didn't understand a word and it was not 'til 4 years later at a country house-party that I was stuck with nothing but the Go-Away Bird, tried again and saw was she was all about.

While memorialising, we have been to the British (ie Protestant) cemetery here in Corfu to place flowers on dad's grave and remember in silence.

Twenty-five years this June 14.

Doesn't seem it. I don't know what it *does* seem, but 25 years seems a mighty long time to still miss him so.

George Psilas keeps *the* most beautiful garden and grave site: only him, a paltry stipend from the British government and absolutely nothing from the other countries whose Protestant faithful are also buried there.

On top of which, the graveyard is listed in all the tourist brochures.

People turn up - not just the religiosi or bereaved - and blithely lay out their picnic stuff, nosh away amid the headstones and then pack up and tootle off, leaving their rubbish behind for George to clear up. Not just empty Coke cans and junk food detritus: faeces in the grass.

Mum and I picked some flowers from the garden and George walked us to dad's grave where the three of us lit a candle and, tidied the grave area and laid fresh flowers (see separating post above).

R.I.P., and I always leave the cemetery with a bit of one in the heart.

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