Tag Archives: funerals

Stop All the Clocks

I’m coming up to sixty, I’ve been talking to a man who officiates at funeral services and, on the way home last night, I listened to a radio programme about funeral singers. This would tend to indicate that it’s time to think of funerals.

Apologies to anyone who finds the subject in bad taste, but there are certain things that need arranging beforehand. I’m a bit on the large side, for instance, and the average coffin always looks a bit on the small side. Wicker, apart from its green credentials, has a bit more give if you’re having to pack a fat man in it. Cardboard is probably even greener, and you could probably make your own if you had enough warning. That might be a step too far, though totally in character for my parsimonious nature

I’ve had a quick look and made my first decision. I’m going for cardboard, as they do one of decent size at a reasonable price. You can buy them here on eBay, with free delivery. In contrast, most wicker coffins are only about six foot long and p&p on eBay is £50. You can buy a lot of sandwiches for £50.

I may well shrink with age (if I live long enough) but I’m still currently too tall for a wicker coffin. I don’t think we need to worry about the width just now.

I’d also like to be buried in a natural burial ground, but I’ve just looked it up and find a burial plot costs £600. You can bury one person in it or scatter four sets of cremation remains. The ashes seem more economical but you have to get cremated first and I can’t find a cost for this to do a proper costing. Even Cremdirect want to sell you a complete funeral. The don’t cover the Nottingham area, but if they did I’m not sure if they’d want me, as they say – “Additional costs my apply to oversize coffins in excess of 6 foot 4″ and over 24″ wide”. You could probably fit me into  6′ 4″ as it leaves an inch at each end and you’d be able to bend my knees a bit, but I’d have to check the 24″.

Their cost, as long as you’re small enough, is £2,150. Alternatively, you can have a Nottingham Funeral for £1,799.99. It’s the Council’s modern equivalent to a pauper’s funeral, and there may be extras, including an extra charge for having a Friday funeral. No, I don’t know why.

Nor do I know why you’d trust your funeral to people who have trouble organising basic bin collections.

Part 2 to follow…

Thinking and Sitting

I’ve been thinking today, and sitting. Mainly sitting, to be fair.

One of the things I was thinking about was funerals. I tend to think about funerals more than I used to, which might be a sign of something. Specifically I was thinking of wickerwork coffins, as they seem to be gaining in popularity these days. I’ve not used a large sample in my researches (four funerals in the last two years) but two of them used wicker coffins. One of them was my cousin, who had a lifetime’s commitment to safeguarding the environment. The other was a friend, who did a lot of fishing. It’s probably inappropriate, but I still smile at the thought.

I’m making no recommendations here, by the way, just showing some examples. You can also have bamboo and seagrass coffins imported from China, which tends to suggest they are less environmentally good. You can also get cardboard ones, but they only come in small sizes. I am only available in 5XL, so I’m either going to build my own from recycled boxes or go wicker. They are also available from ebay and Amazon.

Actually, I’m going to pause there. £250 for a cardboard coffin? I’m definitely making my own.

Anyway, my conclusion on funerals is that I don’t want one yet.

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was on this afternoon. It’s a great film, and at the same time it’s appalling. Devil worship, witchcraft, Celts and a sheriff called George? What were they thinking? On the other hand, it does work, and I always watch it when it’s on.

I watched Grantchester later, wondering why I bother, as the TV stories don’t draw me in the same way that the books do. While I was watching, up popped Nick Brimble, last seen as Little John with Kevin Costner in Sherwood Forest.

All in all, not one of my most profound days.

I must eat more fish.