Charles Cowling
  Rupert and Claire Callender, who run their business from Dartington Hall estate have been at the forefront of the alternative funeral movement since their decision to set up as undertakers and celebrants 12 years ago. For the Tagore Festival they talk about their support for the campaign to legalise
Charles Cowling
   “It’s midsummer on the Isle of Bute in Scotland. Archaeologist Paul Duffy has a plan. He wants to know how our ancestors went about cremating their dead. He didn’t have a dead person handy, so he decided to cremate our closest relation in the animal kingdom – a pig.”
Charles Cowling
      In an act of solidarity with the movement to restore open-air cremation to Britain, spearheaded by the Natural Death Centre, we survey some inspirational historic examples.  Percy Bysshe Shelley, the Romantic poet, drowned in 1822. His yacht was wrecked in a storm in the Gulf of Spezzia,
Charles Cowling
  In an act of solidarity with the movement to restore open-air cremation to Britain, spearheaded by the Natural Death Centre, we survey some inspirational historic examples.  When the funeral was announced, a pyre was erected in the Field of Mars near the tomb of Julia. In front of the rostra was
Charles Cowling
    In an act of solidarity with the movement to restore open-air cremation to Britain, spearheaded by the Natural Death Centre, we survey some inspirational historic examples.    When Hercules was trying to take his bride Deianeira home, he had to cross the Evenus River. Nessus, a centaur, served
Charles Cowling
  Unlike most countries, cigarettes are sold in singles in India and most shops that sell them have electric lighters attached to the wall for their customers to use. An anti-smoking campaigner fitted the lighters with a device which plays the Indian death chant every time someone lights a cigarette.
Charles Cowling
  After washing his eyes reddened by a heavy dose of marijuana, Sadhu Premdas steps into the Bagmati river, looking for some half-burnt logs of wood to light a fire at his place. Belonging to the Aghori sect of sages, Premdas does not accept fresh firewood distributed by the Pashupati
Charles Cowling
Pic from The Green Funeral Co website   Guest post by Rupert Callender, owner of The Green Funeral Company.    Often this blog can trot nicely along with the usual suspects commenting dryly from the sidelines, a good natured conversation amongst friends. It’s easy to forget it has a wide,
Charles Cowling
Photo Brandreth Collection, c. 1860   A fancy gaff? No, a tomb. The tomb of Maharajah Ranjit Singh, aka The Lion of the Punjab. His ashes repose in the middle, on the spot where he was cremated, in a marble urn shaped like a lotus.  There are eleven other urns, those
Charles Cowling
    In Lucknow, India, Rajan Yadav is standing for Assembly elections on a  manifesto of rooting out corruption. He wants to consign corruption to the funeral pyre, he says, and he is underlining this by conducting his campaign from a cremation ground. To make the symbolism complete, he has nicknamed