Note-written Friday 23rd September, have since left Liverpool!
Every year it seems that the season changes, the children go back to school and I start to become very busy. I don’t just become busy, but I also start to get the need to travel and wander. I’m writing this from a hotel room in the city of Liverpool which from my window I can clearly see the radio tower and Liver building. I have never been to Liverpool before, but then again neither had I been to Leeds until a couple of weeks ago. I may not be wandering very far compared to some, although I would argue that 3 hours stuck on a broken coach in Milton Keynes earns me some kind of wandering achievement, but I have done some interesting wandering nonetheless.
I thought that I would give you some insight into my little adventures and what I’ve been up to of late. At the beginning of September I had a lot to look forward to, and now I am around halfway through the list of journeys and events I have planned for the remainder of 2022. Firstly, I went to Leeds for a day to attend a workshop with a number of other people to look at the Coronial post-mortem process. I had the opportunity to speak in front of these people briefly, a mildly terrifying concept considering who was in the room at the time, and also hear from some absolute experts in their fields including pathologists, Coroners, police, Medical examiners and researchers. I absolutely loved having the opportunity to take part in this, and research is definitely something I want to be more involved in looking ahead in my career. Unfortunately I did not really get to see much of Leeds but I did get to try some local beer and walk around quite a bit, mainly because I originally went to the wrong hotel and then had to walk twenty minutes to the right one.
Next on my travels, I traveled up to Norfolk the day that the Queen died with my husband and dogs for a little break. It was not planned to be an action packed trip, with our only real aims to spend as much time on the beaches as possible so the dogs could enjoy running about. The evenings were very cosy in our cottage and we sat watching the televised coverage of the time between her death and the funeral. I found it very odd to think that someone who had always been a constant for so long was no longer around and I think that it will be felt for sometime whether you are a fan of the royal family or not. I did have the chance to sit and watch a number of the ceremonies that took place, and I am now fascinated by them in so many ways. All of the ritual aspects that took place are simply incredible to see, most dating back hundreds of years. In particular the verbal announcements that needed to be made, which felt utterly redundant in a time when communication is at our fingertips twenty-four hours a day, but the tradition dates back to when proclaiming to a crowd would be the only way to get the news to everyone.
The Queen’s funeral itself was the same day that my husband and I took on a foster greyhound and we spent a chunk of time that morning collecting her and then walking her around our local park. I did however get to watch the Queen’s coffin be carried out of Westminster and her following journey to Windsor. In many ways, funerals are odd because they can be private events between close people or huge public events like this one. The significance felt in the fact a Bank Holiday was announced last minute and nearly every channel on television broadcasting the events was apparent to everyone. It seemed to be the only thing that a lot of people could talk about and continued for the days after.
I think one of the aspects of this time, which I am glad was discussed openly, was the fact that a whole nation grieving in the way it did could impact individuals with their own personal grief. This can either remind us of grief that we have felt or live with still, or even bring back the intense feelings we maybe thought had left us. It’s always important to know that grief is not linear, it is an individual experience and it can be felt at any point in our lives. While the grief felt from the pandemic is still incredibly raw in a lot of us, the feeling of grief in the UK is a heavy one it seems for many.
I was only back home for a week or so before I was off again with my bags packed once more. After a very eventful journey up here I am now in Liverpool for the AAPT Annual Education Event. I am always so proud to be a part of the AAPT and glad I can be involved in these events where members meet once a year. In the theme of calamity of my recent travels, I had to be stranded in Milton Keynes for a number of hours only to arrive late and then this morning have the breakfast I ordered from Starbucks nearly end up on a train to Manchester. I do seem to just take chaos with me wherever I go, but I guess it does make life interesting. Oh and let me add, I am not for one second suggesting the Queen’s death was part of this chaos!
I will end here, but keep an eye out for an update on what happens the rest of this year in my chaotic world, I think it should be interesting.
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