Death has been on my mind this week.
There's a catchy opener...
A friend's mother died recently, followed only a matter of weeks later by his father.
He dropped off some of his mum's 1960-70s costume jewellery which he thought I might like, and a little 1960s Pyrex dish.
We were talking about losing parents. He said that he used to see himself as a buffer between the generations, his parents at one end of life's spectrum and his kids at the other, while he was firmly planted in the middle.
And now, the space at the far end is empty, and waiting to be filled by... us.
A sobering thought.
My mum, who is 89, has observed that she is forever attending funerals, as her peers (and younger folk) die. She recently felt very sad about the death of a favourite cousin, having already lost all of her four brothers. She feels as though she is the last one left.
1960s California maxi dress - vintage shop
Sandals - retail (sale)
Bangles - charity shopped
1960s pendant - from my friend's mum's collection
I have no great insights to offer. The shifting along of the generations is inevitable.
We headed out to Derbyshire today for a walk and a picnic.
I particularly wanted to go to Burbage plantation, where my dearest friend Carol's ashes were scattered when she died 13 years ago.
It's not as maudlin as it sounds, it's a fabulous walk and a gorgeous little spot by a stream, where we had a picnic.
I was very thankful to be there. On so many levels.
The Three Billy Goats Gruff aren't too grown up to enjoy a game of Pooh Sticks.
Mixing up my stories, I know, but can't you just imagine a troll living under that bridge?
I've just found out, via this link, that these conifers, planted in the late 1960s/early 70s, are not thriving, and the plantation is due to be removed, starting next month. Some of the area will revert to moorland, and there will be some replanting of native trees like oak and birch.
Which is fine with me, but how lucky that we went to visit today; if I had waited, I wouldn't have recognised it.
As it is, I enjoyed a quiet moment or two with my memories of my gorgeous friend.
Then onward - up the hill to Carl Wark, remains of an Iron Age fort. Walking in the footsteps of folk who lived over 2000 years ago is pretty amazing.
Seldom Seen looks better in that hat than I do, damn it.
Iron Age Boy surveys his land.
Great swathes of heather grow all across the moors.
Then down through Padley Gorge, which the kids think is so-called because of the fine paddling opportunities.
I'll be taking my hat to Judith's next Hat Attack link-up.
And I'll be around to keep in touch with my here-and-now friends, and their blogs, while cherishing my fond memories of those who have gone.