Best day this week
Bizzarely, I think Tuesday, the day of my uncle’s funeral.  Despite the sadness of the occasion, it was lovely to see Derry and my Irish cousins again, and to reminisce self-indulgently about the old days.  He’d asked for similar arrangements to those requested by my dad five years ago: private family service and committal in the morning, with a service of thanksgiving in the afternoon.  The service was in the house, followed by a committal in the city cemetery, then a family lunch and the service in the cathedral late afternoon.

Best decision of the week
To go to Ireland, despite the short notice and scrabbling to cover work meetings.  Some things are just too important.

Best work activity of the week
Not much to choose from this week, with half the week off.  I ran a workshop on Thursday morning that was a bit experimental but went off very well and was well received by people who attended.  That’s always gratifying.

Favourite meal of the week
The lunch on the day of my uncle’s funeral was excellent.  However, we went to a favourite restaurant in Derry when we arrived on Monday night and I am happy to report that their banoffee pie, which is positively the best in the world, lived up to expectations.

Favourite Mensa activity this week
For a change, no Mensa activity this week – just too much else going on!

Sobering moment of the week
My oldest nephew got married on Saturday – he’s nearly 27, and my younger brother’s son.  I remember the night he was born, and it’s very sobering to realise that 27 years have gone by that quickly.

Progress on last week’s objectives
I’m afraid I have to report a complete failure this week.  With hindsight, I was probably too ambitious anyway, but with the unplanned trip to Ireland and then having to catch up with a backlog of work when I got back, followed by a busy weekend due to my nephew’s wedding, I just haven’t had a spare moment.  I toyed with the idea of burning the midnight oil but decided that some things (like sleep and sanity) are more important.

Key objectives for the coming week
This week I will complete last week’s:
  • Find a savings account for remainder of endowment policy
  • Full first draft of the next issue of my SIG newsletter, Intermezzo, together
  • Write a contribution for the newsletter of a SIG that I belong to
  • Order a data projector (it’s a long story, but I’ve decided to buy one).

“Awww” moment of the week
My nephew’s wedding.  He’s an extremely nice young man, and their wedding had some lovely touches, such as including their dog in the ceremony!  His speech was very sweet and he and his new wife are obviously head over heels.  It was a pleasure to be at such a happy event, not to mention another opportunity to catch up with family.  And as a bonus, acrimonious exes managed to get on harmoniously for once. 

Sad moment of the week
Saying goodbye to my uncle when his coffin was lowered and the grave covered at the cemetery.  They arrange things so quickly in Ireland – he died on Saturday and his funeral was on Tuesday.  It’s too quick, really – although he was an old man and it was not unexpected, I don’t feel I had time to take in the fact that he had died before we were in Ireland, at the funeral, and back in England again with it all over.

What have I learned this week
That grief can take you by surprise.  I’ve been more upset than I expected about my uncle, partly because I’m mourning the passing of a whole generation on my father’s side – he was the last remaining sibling.

Also that my Irish roots are hugely important to me and that despite not growing up very close to my Irish family or to Derry, I am enormously fond of them both.