Spring is definitely starting to show now – lighter mornings, lighter evenings, a bit of brightness and a few more flowers. It’s difficult not to feel happier.
This was slightly moderated by three conversations in the shop today (really yesterday, as I’m writing in the early hours of Sunday morning). One was with a man who had just suffered a death in the family, one with a man whose parents have just been scammed out of their life savings and one with a man who has lived here for many years but still has friends and family in the Ukraine.
This sort of conversation makes me realise how lucky I am.
I( am, I admit, having to do some thinking about death, mainly whether it makes sense to take out a pre-payment plan for a funeral or not. Clearly it’s cheaper to sort it out and have it all ready for when the time comes, but what happens if they go out of business between now and the funeral?
I’ve also been thinking about keeping my money safe in years to come. I don’t want to hand it all over to a fraudster, and I don’t want to spend it all on high-priced TV offers, as many of our customers do. I’m reasonably confident I can keep it safe now, but worry about what I may do in the future. I mainly rely on a bad memory and being disorganised at the moment, meaning I couldn’t hand money over to scammers even if I wanted to, but as I get older and have to get more organised, this may become a problem. Similarly, as an incurable collector I would hate to find myself reaching for the phone to buy over-priced coins.
The coin marketing companies are probably even less moral than the criminals. The criminals are at least honest about their dishonesty, but the coin marketing companies, whilst targeting the elderly, pretend to be coin dealers.
And finally, of course, I don’t have family in the Ukraine. It’s bad enough having to watch what is happening without having to worry about family.
I am not a political blogger, so will leave it there. I do, however, dabble in poetry and would like to draw this Kipling poem to your attention. It’s about dane-geld. For those of you who don’t need the links I will quote the last verse.
“We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
And the nation that plays it is lost!”
One of my best friends is married to a Ukrainian, so even though I’ve never been I do feel as though I know his family. They are in Kyiv and every day I wonder how they are. Also, my friend herself is recovering from throat cancer, so I’m sure you can guess the rest….
As for funeral plans, in my 20s I got one and then sold it in my 30s to buy a car. Now, I need a new car and am looking into natural burials, which all seems quite complicated.
My daughter earnestly told me that she wants to be mummified and buried in a permanent structure. At least that is something I shouldn’t have to sort out!!
It must be dreadful having family in the Ukraine at the moment. It was bad enough having a son in Canada during the pandemic, and that wasn’t anything like as dangerous as being shot at.
Natural burials seem so expensive. I’d like one, but I also want a cheap one, so it looks like a wicker or cardboard coffin and a cremation. Having said that, cardboard coffins seem very expensive for what they are.
Finally, I’ve done some research on mummification and it seems easy enough. Needs a lot of salt and the training to scrape brains out through the nose. After that it’s just a few jars and a lot of bandaging. I expect there will be a whole raft of rules to make it more complicated, particularly when it comes to getting planning permission for a PYRAMID.
That’s the benefit of cremation – you can pretty well put the ashes anywhere you want, but planners are much more picky if you are trying to dispose of a whole body.
Yes, there is an advantage in having ashes.
As for the pyramid, I think it was actually going to be a smaller structure but no doubt there will be modifications to this idea over time 😊 Interesting to learn more about mummification from your research.
The two things that stick in my mind are the presence of natural salt called natron in the desert and the fact there is an article on the internet of mummifying a chicken. And a lot of the mummified grave animals in tombs are fakes. So that’s three, and more are coming bak to me . . .
Really, you mean the animals were not animals but, say, toys?
Bundles of sticks made up to look like mummified falcons and things like that. Waking up in the afterlife and finding you had a bundle of sticks instead of a falcon must have been really annoying.
Probably upsetting, too, to find you weren’t re-united with your beloved pet.
good old Kipling! Thanks for reminding me of this poem.
Out of fashion, but not wrong! 🙂
The power of attorney is in my mind as a bit of protection in the future. You raise very real worries.
Yes. It’s something I am now thinking about, as I want to do it while I am in a fit state to deprive the lawyers of their pound of flesh. 🙂
I am constantly reflecting on my good fortune
A good woman has a price above rubies, a they say. You also live in the New Forest and still have plenty of hair. I feel you are slightly ahead of the bald man in the frozen Midlands. 🙂
Danegeld and Kipling’s poem. I learned two new things tonight.
That’s why so many early English coins are found buried in Scandinavia. 🙂
If I had family in Ukraine, I would be a wreck. What a heart-breaking situation.
I just can’t believe that thousands of years of civilisation have brought us to this. Where did all that effort go?
So true, Simon.
Decent society, which sounds so humdrum, always takes great effort. From the United States point of view, we were far too complacent in the 1990s. We thought that we had licked communism and now the world was going to glide into democracy. At the time, there was even a book with the title “The End of History.” As if! And then, of course, Trump’s love of all things authoritarian. No doubt there are other factors, too, but those are the ones that immediately come to mind.
Politics is a strange thing. Looking back you can always see the point where things started to slide. It’s hard to believe that people don’t like democracy but it seems to be the case. 🙂
Be of good cheer, soon you will have lots of new leaves and the hummingbirds will return. 🙂
It seems that Ukraine is on everyone’s mind. Such a terrible thing. Terrifying and infuriating as well.
The language coming out of Moscow is the same language that you hear coming from the mouths or bullies all over the world – blaming the victim. Infuriating is putting it mildly.