The Pulborough Pound is common currency between businesses down here in the village. It is possible to be well fed and cared for, in exchange for services rendered.
NO, no , no NOT what you are thinking, I mean Floral services!!
The Pulborough Pound can be exchanged for the things I want most (mainly cake and alcohol). The fresh floral arrangements in the local pub come at a cost of a scrumptious Sunday lunch, while a Claire-size piece of cake from the Tea Room, comes at a cost of a tiny table posy or two. In the past my floristry favours could also be exchanged for dog washes and poochy pampering – which came in handy, especially when you have with an elderly dog in nappies and I mustn’t forget the Henning’s special ‘Left-over Wine‘ in exchange for ‘Won’t-last-the-weekend Blooms‘
We work closely with the CoOp funeral parlour across the road, but I’m hoping that I won’t have to cash in the Pulborough Pound there just yet!
I think I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy, (sorry that’s the wrong word), I feel honoured (that’s better) in being asked to create funeral tributes. Well, this week I was in my element, with several funerals in the diary.
The thing about funerals is you often get to know the deceased person, better than you know some of your closest friends. You hear anecdotes from family and friends and everyone remembers something different, so you get a very rounded picture of the person, that brings them back to life…not literally, of course.
This week included the funeral of Mr Catchpole, a tall, distinguished gentleman that I came to hold in great esteem, since we undertook the flowers for his dear wife’s funeral.
I will miss Mr Catchpole, who became a frequent visitor to the shop. He regularly popped in for a chat on the way to the Tea Room and it was always a joy to see him. He was such a polite and friendly chap and I got to know him well. It’s people like Mr Catchpole, that make the village a real community and the thing I love most about having a shop here.
On the surface funerals can seem very solemn and ceremonious, but behind the scenes it can be more like a well-meaning farce. Crematoriums have two or three doors, front, back and side. As the funeral party leaves through the side exit, my team, dressed in black, like a ninga troupe, wait poised, ready to burst through the back entrance!
Once in, we have literally seconds, minutes at most, to strip down the flowers, rearrange, get them in the van and off to the wake, before the guests arrive. I’ve once had to floor the van to overtake the cavalcade, screeching around corners, the smell of burning rubber coming through the vents, while my co-pilots facing backwards, hung on to flowers, in a desperate rush to get ahead of them and have everything ready for when they arrive.
Flowers can say SO much, but often that’s in subtle ways that only those close to beholder can fully understand.
You can see some of the tributes we have done for recent funerals on our website