My father’s first cousin died a couple of weeks ago. She was always very beautiful and quite exotic boasting a tan when everyone else in Ireland was ghostly white. She married a rich man and they seemed to lead extraordinarily glamorous lives even though they lived in Kerry which does not lend itself to glamour. My brother and sister dutifully went to the funeral and met lots of my father’s cousins and reminisced and brought back useful quantities of family gossip. It wasn’t a shock (in fact about a year ago, I had firmly and definitively told my aunt that this woman was dead despite her distinct – and, as it turns out, correct – doubts on that point, so, you know, definitely not a shock) but I do feel that I am certainly edging closer to the front of the church.