Thursday, October 28, 2010

La Fosse de Tigne

After a long drive with Clarry and Zebby (thank you so much for a stress free travel experience) I arrived at London City airport.
The airport was full of businessmen and I was the ONLY person in an outfit that wasn't black or grey. As I sat numbly on the plane I felt that my whole life was black or grey and I had one of those moments when you feel that you really wouldn't care if the plane crashed into the Channel as long as it was quick.
However my darling Liz picked me up from Nantes airport and drove us home to her place and THIS is what I woke to this morning!
La Fosse is one of the most precious places in the Universe and Richard's soul hovers very close here.
We have stayed here year after year for the last 3 years helping Liz build it up to be a fabulous B&B.
And the main reason we loved it is because of Liz.
It's so good to be away from a million zillion pieces of paper that all have my life hanging in their balance. It's so good to be with a sympathetic friend and it's so good to have a little bit of sun on your head.
It's so beautiful and I'm so lucky that Richard left me the legacy of Liz and La Fosse.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I think it also takes a village to look after a widow. Through the last few weeks and months I have had more grief and pain than I ever thought I could bear but I have also had more warmth, generosity and support than I ever expected or thought it possible to receive. I have felt bereft and alone at the same time as feeling loved and protected.
Here are a few of the wonderful people who have helped me in the last few days sort out bank accounts.....cancel passports,
massage my poor aching heart,
sing to me,
and feed me...

All when they had their own busy lives to lead. Thank you my darling friends of East Harling and the wider world. Here is Tony and Marianne Backhouse singing outside our house before leaving for their next workshop in Bath. (I'm so sorry that it ends sooner than it should.)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sleep sleep sleep.

Thanks to our lovely friend Peter Muhleisen I bring you a clip made in 1977 of Ricardo the Magnificent singing with Matchbox.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

A moving, wonderful and appalling day.

If this terrible thing had to happen in the world of Ricardo and Jo Ludbrook, it could not have happened in a better place. The good people of East Harling and Bridgham have provided the most supportive network one could ever wish for. Roxi and I have been hugged and kissed, cooked and cared for better than I ever thought possible in this day and age of disconnection and drift. My heart still hurts terribly and will for a good while to come, but it is also buoyed by all the friends we have surrounding us.
Here is a small record of the funeral that happened here on Friday the 8th October 2010 for Richard Kenley Ludbrook.
(There is audio of the complete service here when you click on the link (you will need to view/listen in internet explorer)).
It started at 3.30 at our house when Owen came with his horse and trolley. He apologised because the trolley was a little "rustic". I thought it perfect.The funeral directors loaded the coffin onto the trolley. Richard's brother Ray here added a last bunch of flowers.

Richard's favourite flowers were dahlias and luckily they were in abundance because of the time of year.
The sartorial Ricardo would have loved Annette's shoes
Two hemispheres collided here when Dylan in his wedding suit met Sally & John in their choir robes.
My darlings Clarissa and Yusuf.I think about 60 people walked behind the coffin to the Church
If you listen to the service you will hear what an amazing send off it was. How many people are lucky enough to have two vicars that knew them incredibly well to take their funeral?
After the service everyone was invited to join us at the side of the grave. I had no idea there were so many people attending, they poured down the ramp from the Church to the graveside.

Goodbye my beautiful boy.
Then there was a celebration of Richard's life at our friend William's place. All the baking mafia of Harling and Bridgham had made food for the event and the Church marquee was up to contain it all.
There were smiles then. And singing by Roxi
and Clarissa and even me as I gathered all my strength to sing Richard's favourite sing "Nobody like you". Backed the wonderful Paul, Janie and friends.
A truly wonderful and appaling day, can a heart be breaking and singing at the same time?It will be a long time before Harling sees another funeral quite so wonderful.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Richard's funeral details

Dear friends, family and blogreaders all. Richard's funeral will be this Friday. The details are as follows.

Friday October the 8th @ 4pm
Church of St Peter & St Paul
Church Rd, East Harling NR16 2NB Norfolk, United Kingdom.
Parking opposite the church

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made at the church (or online) for charities: The Big C (, Macmillan Cancer Support (, and for the Church Bell fund.
In the true spirit of Richard's life, please come dressed to celebrate such a wonderful person. The last thing he would want to see in the church is a sea of black and grey, so please add a dash of colour to your outfit, as he added a dash of colour to our lives.The wake will follow on after the service,in the next village along at Bridgham.

The wake will be from 6pm
Please bring a bottle and a nibble type dish.x

We received a lovely message the other day in amongst the many from our friend Lizzie who wrote..."Richard lives on in us all. I can't believe that his humour, musicality, love and sharp suits have not in some way impacted on us and changed us in some subtle (or not!) way."

Monday, October 04, 2010

Ricardo sings La Mer

For David Uden and all the others who have been asking me to put this back up on the blog.
With love....Joey