The Old Lady of the Village

The old lady of the village has reached 105. A celebration had been organised in the village hall.

I took Harriet along. She knew her of course.

Her great grandsons gave readings and, in his tribute, the husband of one of her grandchildren told us about her.

“Emily was raised in Swindon, a railway town, one of seven children. Railways were the technology that mattered and her family were hard-working railway people.”

“Emily was a very good tennis player and became a music teacher, reading the Bible every day until the end of her life. She met Len, her husband to be, in 1923 and they married in 1926. She still keeps their marriage certificate in her handbag.”

It was hard to imagine that little old lady playing tennis.

I talked to some of the family at the gathering at the bungalow on the Old Station Road. Dennis, that’s Dr. Brainstorm, was one of the great nephews and he pointed people out to me.

They were mostly people who made things, who had studied computer science or engineering, modest, practical people.

What an incredible span of time. Goodness knows what someone born today will find in 100 years.

Today jets from the US and France and Britain swarmed over Libya and attacked troops loyal to Colonel Gadaffi, hitting tanks and other vehicles with targeted missiles.

I picture the man in the absurd uniform with gold braid and ridiculous epaulettes, the man with the tired contemptuous eyes. Then the wrecked bloodied convoys and the miscellaneous body parts.

I wonder how it will end.