Born on 2 January 1927, my brother-in-law Michael Green died on 25 February this year. Best known to the world for his ‘The Art of Coarse …’ books, covering rugby, sailing, acting and a bunch of other subjects. Elaine’s sister Christine is generally acknowledged to have helped him enjoy what he called the happiest years of his life, from 1982.
The papers have been spilling over with glowing obituaries. And the thanksgiving service today, at the Church of St. Mary with St. Alban, Teddington, was the funniest, jolliest I have yet taken part in. Quite remarkable.
We started out at the crematorium nearby, which was pretty much par for the course for such things, though the vicar, the Reverend Joe Moffatt, was delightful. Introducing the thanksgiving service later in the day, he noted that he was pondering resorting to ‘The Art of Coarse Christianity’.
The service started with Franz Schubert’s Piano quintet in A, ‘Trout’, op. 114 D667. I may be illiterate when it comes to classical music, but I recognised this one – having bought the Trout Quintet album back in the early 1980s.
A huge congregation, with Gaia doing the flowers and Paul singing ‘Love is the Sweetest Thing’ by Ray Noble, accompanied by nonagenarianHarold Britton on piano. Then on to The Wharf Restaurant for a wonderful reception overlooking the Thames.