I Want This Played At My Funeral.

I recently attended a social function with a group of old friends, all my age, which is over sixty. None of us had paid much attention to the background music until ‘time of my life’ from dirty dancing began to play. One of my friends leaned across the table to me and said “this is what I’m having played at my funeral” Out of professional interest I asked him who knew that he wanted that played. He thought for a moment and then said, “well, only you now, I suppose” That conversation sums up one of the reasons for planning…

Your Legacy in a Digital Age

        We are increasingly living our lives virtually via our computers, iPads and smartphones; in the way we communicate with friends, meet people, do our shopping, pay our bills, access our bank accounts and record our memories. Technology has evolved at an enormous pace and so has the way we store information. Simple things such as photographs, which in the past we could have flicked through in a printed album, are now stored online. We are encouraged to protect these digital activities with passwords and facial recognition apps. But what happens to all of this when you die?…

The Final Chapter. For Now

Day three and the threatened bad weather never arrived. What did arrive were the aches and pains again and the white van man who returned for the rest of the slabs. I really want to crack on today and get most of this finished.   Tomorrow is the Kent Festival of Bees being held near Canterbury. I want to go, especially as my friend, Mark, is presenting on ‘Show Honey’ Think I’m a long way off show honey, or any honey for that matter. I am continually surprised at how popular honey is. Everyone I have told about my plans seems…

Bee Blogging Day Two. More Brambling Than Rambling

Day one: I expected the skip to arrive at the crack of dawn so forced my weary bones out of bed before seven o’clock, in time, I thought, to move our cars off the drive. After a breakfast of toast and honey, not mine yet, but soon, I decided to make a start shifting some of the rubbish ready for when the skip did arrive. It was hard not to be downhearted when I realised just how much there was to move and just how painful my arthritis will be tomorrow. Good thought: While I’m waiting for the skip I…

Chris’s Bee Blog or the ramblings of a would bee bee keeper.

  The beegining.(Pedants please note deliberate spelling mistakes) August bank holiday weekend 2014 marks the start of my new life as a beekeeper. My Abbey Funerals blog page seems to have been received much better than I had expected, especially when I ramble on about anything connected with gardens, flowers or wildlife, I thought keeping a blog about this journey might interest some. It will certainly help me to keep a record of how I ‘grow’ as a bee keeper. Bee keeping is something I have been interested in since childhood when I would go with uncle Bill, a cousin…

Count Your Blessings

The newest Facebook craze is to list three things every day for which you are thankful. On day one you have to nominate three of your ‘friends’ to also take up the challenge. Nobody has nominated me yet but that doesn’t stop me from thinking and writing about the things I am thankful for. First has to be my husband and family, and I guess most people would say the same. And, of course, most will also say “mine is the best” but what about those who can’t say that, those who, for whatever reason, have been cut off from…

A world remembers.

        With the centenary of WW1 upon us, I’m reminded of a trip I made a couple of years ago.   We took a few days off and drove from France into Belgium. Shortly after we left the motorway system and began to drive through the lovely Flanders countryside we saw a small cemetery. Surrounded by a brick wall, it housed neat rows of white markers, maybe a couple of hundred or so. A few miles further and there was another, and then another and another until it seemed as if just around every corner another field of…

I don’t do crap funerals

‘As the cost of funerals soars past £5,000, new companies are promising low-cost no-frills options’ Christine Parker’s response to  ‘Avoid the funeral  sting: how to die for less than £1,000.’ Adam Forrest’s piece in the Guardian Online, 28 June, quoted the following: ‘”The way funerals have been done in this country is crap,” says Charles Cowling, who runs the Good Funeral Guide blog.’ Well, Mr Cowling, I am hugely insulted by your comment. I have been a funeral director for more than thirty years and I don’t believe I have ever organised a funeral which could be described as ‘crap.’…

Candles, Choirs and Stolen Cakes

 “Someday soon, perhaps in forty years, there will be no one alive who has ever known me. That’s when I will be truly dead – when I exist in no one’s memory. “I thought a lot about how someone very old is the last living individual to have known some person or cluster of people. When that person dies, the whole cluster dies, too, vanishes from the living memory. “I wonder who that person will be for me. Whose death will make me truly dead?” ― Irvin D. Yalom, Love’s Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy This quote wasn’t actually…

Friends Together: Despite the Weather (and Technology…)

 Oh, dear! What can the matter be? In which Chris Parker is wrong several times, mislays some pensioners and takes on some tricksy technology but beats the British weather to have fun: We’d been arranging the trip to Hampshire since just after Christmas. Our Friends Together groups and members from Tonbridge, Paddock Wood and Tunbridge Wells were all looking forward to a day out. Back then, the end of May seemed reasonable: likely to be fairly warm, not too hot for our older members and – we hoped – dry. Wrong, wrong and wrong again. To be fair, the weather…