Saturday, April 29, 2017

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 Post 1520. Sunday April 30


A fond farewell from good folk of Amble Bay






Good morning all. 

'Coffees all round Maisy, please. Oh, and one tea for Emily'

There's something I need to tell you.



Arthur always leaves The Fish Inn at ten precisely. ‘Off to get some ZZZs’ he always says.  But last night he left at nine. ‘Get everyone a drink’ he said, placing a £50 note on the bar, ‘I’m not feeling too well’

‘Best get some ZZZ’s then’ said Dan.

'Best get some ZZZ's Arthur' 

Arthur said nothing as he wandered out the door.

Once home, he opened the bottom drawer of the kitchen dresser and rummaged through the mass of papers. He dragged out a large brown envelope and placed it in the centre of the old oak table before heading for his bed.


Earlier this morning, Zena the Cleaner let herself into Arthur’s farm house, just as she did every morning. Her first job was to make Arthur’s bed. He always left at daybreak to start work on the farm.

But not today.

‘Arthur?’ she said.

Zena shook his shoulder and shook it again. He didn’t stir.

‘Arthur?’ 

She fled in tears to the kitchen and slumped herself down at the old oak table. She noticed the envelope; her name was scribbled on it. She pulled out some papers. 

Arthur had planned today and the coming days to the smallest detail.


Arthur liked a joke. Just yesterday he said  ‘I saw an advert for funeral plots. That’s the last thing I need!’

I'm sorry your visit to Amble Bay ended on a sad note. Please come back one day, we really enjoyed your company.


~Coda~

The sun shone brightly for Arthur’s funeral. Pete’s place was packed. The choir sang All Things Bright and Beautiful as he'd wished. Holy Jo spoke, I spoke, several of us spoke.

Then it was back to the Fish Inn to celebrate his life. Dapper Dan spoke, Iris spoke. We recalled our favourite memories, we sang his favourite songs.

How we laughed.
  
And how we cried.
  

The community clubbed together to place this bench beneath Florence’s cherry tree. It’s the seat she always wanted; somewhere they can sit, two souls together.

This morning as I stood here, I heard two voices in the breeze.

‘We had fun Arthur, didn’t we?’ whispered one.

What did you say Florence?’ whispered the other.







Previous episodes  A B C D E G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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68 comments:

  1. Thank you, Keith. It was a wonderful tour even if it had to end on a sad note. Thanks for dropping by my blog.

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    1. I'm pleased you liked it Denise. I thoroughly enjoyed my visits to yours.

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  2. I am glad Arthur got a good send-off

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  3. What a surprising ending to your Amble Bay series, Keith, and I must say I really liked it, it seemed somehow fitting. The ending was perfection! I smiled as I listened to your recorded message, how fun to hear you signing off for this year's A to Z, same time next year, ok? :-)

    Z is for Zadie - the conclusion to my A-Z serial story "Circle of Hope"

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    1. Thankyou so much Josie. Same time next year indeed!

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  4. Thanks for the tour of Amble Bay Keith. I'm not sad about Arthur. I reckon it was the right time. He'd lived a full life, and he probably never full recovered from the loss of his wife. Nice touch withthe recorded thank you at the end as well. Good job, mate.

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    1. Thanks so much. My finger hovered over the post button for ages whilst I wondered if I was doing the rght thing killing off my main character!

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  5. Sounds like he had the end planned, even if it wasn't such a joyous ending. Fitting.

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    1. He had a good life and all good things must come top en end! Thanks Liz.

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  6. Loved everything from A to Z in Amble Bay inspite of the sad ending.. but that is life and you captured life so perfectly..
    LadyInRead @ MyRandRSpace - Day 30 & ZingingZ.

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  7. Hi Keith - this was wonderful .. thoroughly enjoyed our visit through Amble Bay - with a very fitting end - at 95 ... a good innings. Brilliant - but I can see a variety of Amble Bays ... and my own ... very clever and thank you for the 'thank you' ... cheers and congratulations on Zzzz with the bees on your way along the A-Z path through Amble Bay - relax ... cheers Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/z-is-for-zebra-zoo-and-zedland.html

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    1. Thanks Hilary. I had fun with it, just a shame April is over so soon!

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  8. A surprising and sad but totally right ending. A great A-Z challenge which I've thoroughly enjoyed reading each day. I was a village girl until my teenage years and can see lots of the traits of your characters in some of the people I knew in the village I grew up in. Now I live in an expanding market town where people are too busy to take notice of each other - a sign of the times we live in. Thank you for bringing a smile to my face every day.

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    1. Sally, thanks so much for your loyal support during the challenge. I too have lived in small rural comuntities most of my life, only moving to my little seaside town a few years ago. It feels like a city to me!

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  9. Thanks to Arthur and to you for a memorable A-Z, if although I didn't comment on all your posts.

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    1. Bob, that's most kind of you. Thank you.

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  10. Oh, Keith. Wonderful visiting Amble Bay during this challenge. Arthur and his hearing aid, even from the other side, made me laugh. Heartwarming tales here. See you at the Six Sentence Story hop in the future. My Virtual Vineyard

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    1. Thanks so much Val. Yes, normal service is about to be resumed! See you at 6SS.

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  11. Beautiful coda. This is so different from what I expected (the debriefing ~giggle~). Nicely done. And thank you for the lovely recorded message. I would so like to join you! Be well. I'll *see* you tomorrow, I'm sure.

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    1. Thank you so much Darla for this and all the lovely comments you cast my way during April. I may just take a day off tomorrrow and spend it my actual local, The Five Ashes Inn. I'll see. Join me do! Then it's back to normal again. Bless you.


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  12. Loved the Amble Bay series. Though it was a bit sad to hear of Arthur's passing away.

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    1. Thanks so much Bernadette. It was a gamble going out on a low rather th

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  13. I am enjoying my tea, Keith - thank you for allowing me the special order. Really enjoyed your recorded message - nice to hear the voice behind Amble Bay and I think it does exist, the names may be different but the scenes are there.

    Sad ending but well done. This month long trip through Amble Bay was an enjoyable journey.

    Emily | My Life In Ecuador | Zoo - I live in one!

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    1. Thanks Emily - I'm pleased the tea was to your liking! Amble Bay was a combination of a village I used to live in and the little seaside town I live in now, so it almost exists! Thank you for joining me tis month and thanks also for your entertaining posts.

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  14. I'm a late-arrival. Just found your ending post on the A to Z. Now I'll have to go back and read after seeing all the great reviews you have! It's like reading "Best Seller for 8 weeks" on a bookstore novel, so you have to check it out :)
    KatyTrailCreations
    Quilts and Quotes theme
    @randallbychance on Twitter from
    KatyTrailCreations

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    1. I reacon you've been hiding in the bushes spying on us all along! Thanks for the recommendation. Now I'm going in search of you!

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  15. Some people - and animals - just know when they're going to die. It's sad that Arthur's gone, though it sounds like he's still around in his own way :-) Thanks for the tour of Amble Bay.

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    1. He will always be there I'm sure! Thanks so much for your inspiring posts, and for being such a regular visitor to Amble Bay.

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  16. What a wonderful journey and sad ending. I'm glad Arthur and Florence are together. And loved the personal message. I'm lifting a cuppa to you!

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    1. I shall tap my cup on yours! Sad ending but fitting I thought, I'm glad you appreciated it. Thanks Jacqui.

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  17. I wasn't expecting such a touching end to the month Keith. Really well done, gentle humour and pathos. Expertly written. I too hope somewhere like Amble Bay does exist. If you ever find it, let me know and I'll see you in the pub. If not, I hope you will revisit it one day for further stories. An exceptional month, well done.

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    1. Thank you so much for your generous words Iain. Amble Bay will live on - how can it not after such lovely comments! Mine's a pint if you get there first! Cheers Iain.

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  18. I am saddened with this end...was it really necessary that Arthur had to sleep forever??? :(
    Congratulations to you for finishing the challenge! I enjoyed all the posts...all were so unique, pithy and engaging!
    Lets keep in touch in future as well!
    ------------------------------------------------
    Anagha From Team MocktailMommies
    Collage Of Life

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    1. Thanks so much. Arthur's happy now he's with his beloved Florence I'm sure. Thank you for the time you spent here, it's really appreciated. I've added your blog to my blogroll!

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  19. I wasn't expecting such a poignant ending. I'm sad that Arthur's gone but also happy that he's got back together with Florence. That is how it should be. That is how it should always be.

    I have hugely enjoyed my visits to Amble Bay and I'm quite convinced it does exist somewhere. Thank you for a most entertaining and gently captivating series, it's made this A-Z a great space to be this April.

    Congratulations on completing the challenge with such amazing finesse. Your characters feel like friends that I am going to miss in May.

    Best wishes always,
    Nilanjana.

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    1. Oh goodness, what can I say? Thank you so much for your kind words. I had great fun with this and I fully intend popping back to Amble Bay in the future. As I mentioned over at 'your place', your series was just fantastic. So I thank you on both counts!

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  20. I loved Amble Bay - I want to move there. Sorry Arthur won't be back to see more of your wonderful writing. I'm sure he'll be whispering in your ears for a long time to come.
    Congratulations on finishing.

    @Raesquiggles - ZigZag, the finer details of cathedral architecture
    The Quiet Writer

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    1. That's really nice of you. Nearest cathedral is Chichester by the way! Thanks so much.

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  21. Condolences to all at Amble Bay, looks like you gave him a good send off. Fitting to finish on a sad note as we're sad to be moving on. Brilliant AtoZ, I'll miss my visits.

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    1. We certainly are. I'll really miss the challenge. Thanks so much for visiting thoughout April

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  22. Arthur sounded like he was prepared and ready to go. We've got to go and it seems like he did it the best way. And it was nice to hear your voice. Congrats.

    Finding Eliza

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    1. Thank you so much Kristin. As you say, way 't go!

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  23. I didn't get to read every post you did for the Challenge so I'll be back in May to catch up as I did enjoy my visits to Amble Bay. A fitting end for Arthur but I know he'll be missed and I too liked hearing your voice and its message. Congratulations, Keith you made it!!
    http://pempispalace.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/z-is-for-zola-zenith.html

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. We made it! It was impossible to get everywhere every day, I too popped in and out of sites, and I have a list to revisit including yours!

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  24. Sure did enjoy my little visit to Amble Bay, Keith. :) While you're at the pub, drink a Harp for me, will ya... ;)

    Calen~
    Impromptu Promptlings
    A to Z Challenge Letter Z

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    1. I haven't had a drop of Harp Lager for years! I most certainly shall. Cheers Calen~

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  25. Congratulations on the successful completion of a most wonderful A to Z series. Have really enjoyed my visits here. Makes me sad that Arthur is no more as i adored him on my first visits to Amble Bay. Alas , the hard reality of life - the inevitable good bye. However , that was the only way he could have re-united with his beloved Florence again . Hearing aid or no hearing aid.
    Thanks for adding smiles and good cheer to our days in April with your brilliant stories.
    Best wishes always,
    Moon

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    1. Moon, that really is very kind of you. I actually came up with idea during last year's A-Z and mentioned it at the foot of my last post in 2017, so I had plenty of time to consider it! Thanks too for your contributions this year

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  26. Life happens, even in Amble Bay. Congratulations on meeting the challenge! As i always do, i will continue to post each day, and i'll be checking in to see what you are up to. If i ever get to anywhere near your side of the world, i hope we can meet up for a cup of tea.

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    1. I'm taking today off as it's our May Fair (honestly!), but I'll be back scribing tomorrow. I look forward to taking tea with you! Thans so much for your suport during April, and for your amazing posts on your site.

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  27. Sad but lovely ending that still made me chuckle with the whispers in the breeze. A beautiful send off for Arthur, and us as well. Thanks for a fun month. I enjoyed my time in Amble bay greatly. :)

    A to Z 2017: Magical and Medicinal Herbs

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    1. I tried to make it gentle as possible. I never saw Amble Bay as the kind of place murders happen! Thanks for your spport, and for al the stuff I learned from your A-Z.

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  28. A sad end but also happy because he got to see Florence again. And we know he had a long, happy life with many friends. What more could you ask for? It's been delightful meeting the residents of Amble Bay - hopefully we will get to see some of them again!

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    1. T%hey've made it quit clear to me that they want plenty more mentions in the future. Thanks so much for sticking with me once again this yrar Nick.

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  29. Oh!Keith. What an end.
    "The end" kind of end. It pulled at my heart strings so.
    Thank you for letting me escape (even if it was for short snatches of time) to Amble Bay.
    I'll miss it.
    Thank you for the magic.
    https://artismoments.blogspot.qa/2017/04/z-is-for-zagreb-and-zindagi.html

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    1. That is so nice of you. Thank you very much for wandering around Amble Bay with me. We'll miss you too! I so enjoyed my visits to good posts

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  30. Such a nice ending to the "Amble Bay" series and overall a job well done in April. Congratulations for completing the Challenge especially with so many quality posts. The audio message was a nice touch. Thank you for being part of the April A to Z.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Thanks so much for hosting the A-Z Challenge. I so enjoy it. See you in 2018!

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  31. I want to say to Arthur, "Can you hear me now?"

    What an ending... sad, but still with a touch of humor (the funeral plot being the last thing he needed...ha!)

    I enjoyed hearing your voice, but I have to admit I had your accent all wrong in my head during the tour of Amble Bay. Now I need to listen to your recorded message again, get the accent right, and re-read your posts!

    Congratulations on completing the challenge, and especially for creating such enchanting posts.

    Trudy @ Reel Focus
    Food in Film: Zagnut

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    1. I wonder what you thought my accent would be! Thank you so much for sticking with me during the challenge.Fun wasn't it?

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    2. I have some friends from England so your tour voice took on their accent. Evidently they are from a different area, so the accent was off.

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    3. I'm from the south - even I have difficulty understanding some northern accents!

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  32. Amble Bay would never be the same without Arthur.
    Thank you for giving us such a beautiful journey, just like life, we meet people, met live, we laugh, we cry then we leave.

    Thank you Keith for this beautiful journey to Amble Bay.
    Congrats on finishing the A to Z Challenge.

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    1. DeeDee, thank you so much spending for so much time in Amble Bay. It's really appreciated.

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  33. A bittersweet ending. I've enjoyed visiting Amble Bay and it certainly does seem like a real place. ☺ Thank you for sharing these charming stories. It was nice to hear your voice. Cheers!

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    1. Thank you so much for your support during April Debbie. It was much appreciated.

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