21 June 2022

Ulrome

Ulrome Church

Before visiting my dying brother today, I went for yet another country walk.

This time, Clint parked himself by the church in a coastal village called Ulrome. From there, I walked a mile to the sea.

That part of the East Yorkshire coastline suffers badly from coastal erosion. There's no bedrock to meet The North Sea just soft boulder clay deposited at the end of the last Ice Age around twelve thousand years ago. With rising sea levels more and more of the coast is being lost each winter.

I walked through a holiday caravan site then down to the sands. A concrete pillbox from World War II had ended up on the beach though I am sure it once perched on  the boulder clay cliffs. There were lots of them along this coast  looking out to sea in case of invasion. It's eighty years since they were built.

I reached the Parkdean caravan and chalet site at Barmston then headed west into the village itself. At The Primitive Methodist Chapel I proceeded south passing  a huge field of broad beans - maybe ten acres - on my way back to Ulrome.

Before seeing Simon again, Clint took me to the site of Skipsea Castle. I had seen it many times in the past but never before had I walked up the grassy mound on which one of William the Conqueror's men built a small castle from where he started to control that area of Yorkshire - known as The Plain of Holderness.

Simon was subdued and not as spiky as usual. He hasn't been eating much and does not feel very motivated to nourish himself. He says he is getting weaker and at one point asked what was the point of living like this just waiting for the end to come? I had no trite responses to give him. I left him soup, canned spaghetti, cans of "Coke" and some crunchy nut cornflakes. Oh - and I left a DIY will form too in the vain hope that he might actually fill it in and get it witnessed. This would make my job as executor so much easier when "The End" credits are played.

Cattle and Skipsea Church

34 comments:

  1. I think it must be hard knowing the end is near, yet not knowing when. But I would like to leave knowing I am not making life hard on those I left behind.

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    1. I wish that he had made a will when this episode began. Now he's probably lost the energy to get it together.

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  2. Such a bittersweet post. My thoughts are with you and your brother and pray for an easy pain free transition.

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    1. Thankfully he is not in pain at the moment.

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  3. Idyllic weather and I do love the water so much! I forced my mom to update her 1978 will because I couldn't handle the hassle of her estate without it. Simon is actively dying so that's trickier. Hope he has a very simple estate.

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    1. It's quite simple I believe but his papers are chaotic. Fortunately, he does not own any property. I fear he is going to leave me with a lot of homework and untangling to do.

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  4. That coast is certainly eroding quickly. Estates can get very complicated at the best of times.

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    1. In a bad winter, that section of the coast can lose five or six metres.

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  5. The erosion looks bad. Here lifesaving club buildings keep being washed away. I think it is rather irresponsible to not leave a will but now it may be too much effort for Simon.

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    1. Your last point is probably spot on Andrew.

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  6. Coastal erosion is scary, and I would not feel safe at that caravan park in the second picture. I know it is usually outbalanced by deposits on the opposite side of an island, but that is of little comfort to those who see more and more of their world slide into the ocean every year.
    Speaking of comfort, I hope your visit brought Simon at least a little bit of that. He does have a point, doesn't he, in asking that question.

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    1. He does. In that situation I would be asking the very same question.

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  7. You do take us to some beautiful places, Mr Pud.
    The sky is the most perfect blue.

    I'm touched by the juxtaposition of life depicted in the photographs, decay of the cliffs and of course your brother's fate.

    Kindest regards. Xx

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    1. The juxtaposition was quite accidental but I see where you are coming from on that Christina.

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  8. I have never heard of Ulrome. Had to look it up. I thought I knew the area quite well.
    I doesn't end when someone dies, does it. There can be a lot to sort out. My father's house and estate took ages because it was unexpected, and my mother-in-law's estate was also a lengthy job, but we did it all quite efficiently without expensive solicitors.

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    1. I am happy to have pointed you in Ulrome's direction. I am not looking forward to sorting out Simon's affairs - especially without a will.

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  9. it's sad the coastline is being eroded, but it's a slow process at least. Sorry to hear Simon is feeling down too, but he is getting care at least.

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    1. Not much care. Mostly he is on his own - but this is largely of his choosing.

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  10. My husband and I bought an acre of oceanfront land in Prince Edward Island when we first married. The idea was to build a small cottage on it one day. The cottage never happened so the land has remained an undisturbed woodlot for wildlife for 24 years. Coastal erosion is a big problem in PEI because the island is formed of sandstone and with sea levels rising, it's a perfect storm for shoreline loss. By the time my husband and I exit this earth our land investment will have shrunk considerably.
    Simon's end of life sounds like a lonely one. It seems this is how he prefers to leave this earth though.

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    1. Maybe when he is gone I will speak some more truths Melinda. How lovely to own a plot of land on Prince Edward Island.

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  11. We are all dying, are we not? I hate the idea of your brother dying alone. I suppose he does not wish to be in a hospice facility though. It all seems so cruel.

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    1. In Britain, people usually only end up in hospices for the last week or two of their lives. I fear Simon may take his own life before then.

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  12. I read up a little about Skipsea Castle. A man named Drogo built it but fled the country after he poisoned his wife, who happened to be a niece of the King. Things never seem to change, do they?
    I feel sad about Simon. He has a point, nothing he does will change the outcome and he doesn't seem to want any extra time to say goodbye. He has not wife or children I take it. Friends? Nothing he wants to do before he dies? One last trip to see anything?
    I hope he fills in the will for your sake but it seems unlikely. Sending hugs Mr. Pudding. It's not easy.

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    1. I said I would take him on a little "holiday" but he was not interested. He has no true friends any more. Deep down, I think he just wants it all to end. I fear he will leave me with a lot to sort out.

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  13. I suppose the key is not to focus on the end but on what's happening NOW. (Easy for me to say, I know.) Could your brother do an online will? I think if his estate is relatively simple he could fill it out pretty easily -- maybe more easily than a paper form? (Or not, depending on your brother's level of comfort with computers!)

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    1. He is quite competent on computers. Thanks for the idea Steve. I will look into it. Not sure how an online will could be witnessed.

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  14. The nice long hikes must help you prepare for your visit with your brother. You are doing all you can for him and he is doing all he can do right now too. Hang in there, Neil.

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    1. Thanks for your kind support Ellen. Appreciated.

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  15. I wonder why they kept their tablets in concrete pill boxes? I am joking. Great photos YP.

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    1. Germans first developed this facility in WWI. The term pillbox was used by British soldiers because the reinforced concrete construction was the same shape as the boxes in which chemists supplied tablets during the war.

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  16. I hope your enjoyable walk and glimpse of the sea fortified you for your visit to your brother. His attitude seems so sad to us, but don't know how we'd feel in the same position.

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    1. He seems to have nothing to live for - just watching the television and sleeping.

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  17. How are you doing, Neil? I know what kind of toil this situation with your brother must be having on you. I think one day you'll look back and be glad of everything you've done to help him in these final months. I know it's difficult, but you're a good man to do what you can for him. Hugs.

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    1. Your support gives me a little extra strength Jennifer. Thank you.

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