Off with the blinkers

Charles Cowling

 

I’ve got a feeling it’s time for a change of direction here at the blog.

It doesn’t cost me a great deal of brainpower to keep it going, but it does cost an awful lot of time scouring the internet, panning for gold. Conscientiousness can play funny tricks with a chap. I sit here feeling under a neurotic obligation to bring you, every day, something serious and thought-provoking plus, if poss, two or three other intriguing/amusing stories. It’s all getting a bit OCD. 

Today, for example, I’ve got, lined up, a piece about funeral pyres, a quote, a short film about the Dia de los Muertos that you’ll need your 3-D glasses to enjoy, a story about a man killed by a fish, and a piece of music. But I’m stopping myself from posting  them. And I’m not going to angst about where the rest of the week’s stories are going to come from. This is essential therapy. 

I’d always hoped that the blog would evolve into a sort of Speakers’ Corner and host news and views from all sorts of people. That mostly hasn’t happened — and a huge light went out when Lyra Mollington died.

As a result, I’ve a feeling that what we’ve become, the Daily Glut — your daily deathmag, more and more of the same old same old — is not what you want any more. 

If the format’s tired and dated, the content unread, I could be spending my time more usefully (you already are).

When the blog began, in 2008, it was quite the dashing radical. Today, more than 2,000 posts later, it may have morphed into a repetitious old bore. 

Do let me know what you’d like from now on — if anything. We are no strangers to mortality. 

The function of a blog, after all, is to be useful. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Charles CowlingSue GoodrumJeanne RathboneQuokkagirlandrew plume Recent comment authors

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Sue Goodrum
Guest

Here I am, far too many days after your original plea for responses. ‘Tis true I only look from time to time, but always with the knowledge that there will be something to stir me and teach me. I echo most of what has already been said; and a pause for reflection may enable some fresh energy to spring forth in a different way. What you have incubated here Charles is very valuable and when something becomes a burden, something is awry. So let the season of hibernation give us rest and time for us all to find inspiration anew.

Jeanne Rathbone
Guest

Charles those of us in the ‘ funforal’ business need you and your blog. Like others I dip in irregularly but it cheers me up and, of course I nick some of your stuff to pass on to folk via my blog and further share the fruits of your trawling. Again I would support those who suggest that you shouldn’t feel driven to keep seeking and sharing stuff on a daily basis. Take it easy man! I have been meaning to flag up an idea to you. As a celebrant I have just statred to offer the opportunity to have… Read more »

Quokkagirl
Guest
Quokkagirl

Don’t stop. Don’t curl up your toes, but also don’t feel there has to be so much. I’d rather see two or three good posts a week than loads of fillers. The value of the blog is that it continues to question, probe, nudge, amuse and tease in addition to being informative. For a straightforward consumer, the website is perfect – but the blog seems to attract those ‘in the trade’. Sometimes I do wonder what a consumer would think if they did look at the blog -and sometimes I cringe on their behalf to see so much spatting and… Read more »

andrew plume
Guest
andrew plume

Charles

you know my thoughts well, the bottom line is, is nothing other than, the GFG blog HAS to continue, after all who else would or could continue to highlight the delights that spring forth from a certain Manchester address

best

andrew

Michael Gamble
Guest

Hi Charles. I’m not surprised by your feelings, I have no idea how you find the time or the energy to devote to this for us, your loyal readers. I only get to dip in now and then, when time allows and I remember, but I enjoy looking back at the posts, reading comments and wondering about all the others that comment and contribute. It is an essential item to those of us in the trade and those thinking of joining or window shopping. Please carry on, although I would understand if you cut back a bit. It would be… Read more »

Vale
Guest
Vale

When I was starting out as a celebrant a wise fd said I should read the blog – ‘essential reading’ he said, It was the best advice and the best start I could have had. The blog, by turns silly, serious and inspiring has enlarged my understanding and helped me grow in the job I do. I have to say I can’t keep up with it: when I am busy I lose days and weeks. So if I have a vote, a post or two a day would do for me. Slow down, take a break, reprise your greatest hits… Read more »

Georgina
Guest

A heartfelt thank-you Charles, for all that you do. I thoroughly enjoy reading the posts, and often the comments. I love the mix of silly and serious. I shall miss Lyra’s posts very much but I can’t imagine her being replaced, it would seem wrong to try to. Perhaps someone else could have a regular slot of some kind….? But please don’t feel any pressure to post so many items a day, or even a week – as those of us who work in funeral world know all too well, death is unpredictable so why should the blog posts not… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Charles, you perform an invaluable public service with this, the clearest voice I know of on funereality; surely the first resort for anyone interested in, in need of or challenged by death, funerals and all the connections between the two. I guess it must feel lonely and tiring trawling the net for things to post up here that keep funerawareness fresh in people’s minds, and if we commenters are less than forthcoming with our own orighinal contributions it’s probably more about putting off till tomorrow – certainly not indifference. Like Jenny I come here every day when I can, and… Read more »

Richard
Guest
Richard
Jed
Guest
Jed

Nay, nay, lad – t’ blog is a wonderful thing – though I do think that some days I can’t keep up wi t’ postings – one or two would do me – say one stiff and one floppy, or if you prefer – one serious and one silly, a quote, a poem, a song, an occasional witticism as a bonus? Don’t kill yourself fretting over t’ Blog young Charles – earth shattering stuff can be posted as a newsbreaker anytime of the day or night. It’s a right good meeting spot. Long Live The Blog and its Blogger.

Kathryn Edwards
Guest
Kathryn Edwards

Wot Jenny said, and the others.

Re Carla: I share your sense of the gloom that descends when others don’t share one’s enthusiasms! It’s easy for us to appreciate Carla’s incredibly beautiful and interesting photography, because we have seen a lot of it. For others, it may be a stretch.

Feeling remorseful at having no recent contribution to make to the blog, and am keen to do better.

Jenny Uzzell
Guest

Charles, I agree with all that GM has said. I, personally, read the blog at least once a day, sometimes more and I would miss it greatly. I like the variety, and the occasional debate that you can really get your teeth into. As GM says, I think you are more widely read, and have a far greater influence than you realise. I understand how hard it must be to keep things flowing (particularly as, in the words of Douglas Adams, I have recently come to enjoy the ‘wooshing sound’ that deadlines make as they go by…..I have no idea… Read more »

Charles
Guest

No, prat sticks, GM. But ever-rolling streams — inadvertent and decidedly crass in the circs. Can we agree to go with wing-ed chariot?

gloria mundi
Guest

Please don’t prat yourself Charles, we don’t believe you – but nb ever-rolling streams a slightly tricky simile just at present….anyway, power to whatever you decide!

Charles
Guest

GM, thank you for these salutary words. I think they amount to what is known as speaking power to prat. I find my perspective marvellously restored by them, not to mention the balance of my mind. There’s nothing quite so beneficial as a figurative rolled-up newspaper wielded by a friend. As for Carla — do you know, I hadn’t thought of that. I shall go pop my head back in the fridge for a little while longer and all will be well. What a relief that Time is an ever-rolling stream.

gloria mundi
Guest

Charles, after all the outstanding work the blog’s done, largely (except at times of crisis i.e. documentaries), many are those who would miss it very much. I worry that you spend a lot of time searching and posting because you think there should be N posts per day/week. Cutting back might help you restrain the OCD (your term!) and make us concentrate. Your posts around the work of undertakers is irreplaceable, but personally, I wouldn’t want to see it become largely or exclusively concerned with The Business. I very much value the more extended, broader pieces about attitudes towards the… Read more »

Kitty
Guest
Kitty

What with looking after my cats and all my charity work, I do find it difficult to keep up with all the posts. Perhaps the blog should focus on the sort of things Colin mentions with something less serious at the weekends.

Colin Moore
Guest

The Good Funeral Guide is a valuable resource of up to date funeral stories and information. You could showcase more of of what is going on in the funeral industry around the country, I’m thinking of giving details of training courses and local events such as natural burial open days, also articles about the work that individual funeral directors, funeral planners, celebrants etc are doing around the UK. It could become more educational and be provided on a paying membership basis.

Poppy Mardall
Guest

Everything Jon said. This blog is a beacon of hope!

Jon Underwood
Guest

I guess it must be challenging to keep this going when you rarely see the direct impact of what you do. If you could see this, the inspiration, ideas and connections that come out of the GFG, I bet you would be amazed.