I hope you’ve all been enjoying this gloriously hot weather and have found time to lounge, peacefully in your gardens, listening to the birds and the quiet hum of lawn-mowers and admiring your flowers. I’m only dreaming, remembering back to the days before I decided to work for myself, being able to manage my time (not) doing the thing I love most.
I feel like some sort of vampire, unable to go out in the sun, spending most of my time in a chilled shop and frequenting funeral parlours. We are in the midst of the wedding season, but sadly I seem to be up to my eyes in funerals. As you know I am immensely proud of the work we do to give people the very best send off and to pay tribute to their lives, but things don’t always go as smoothly as planned (hopefully unbeknown to friends and family of the deceased).
Shortly after opening the shop I panicked at a request for a horse’s head to be laid on the coffin, thinking I was getting involved with the West Sussex mafia (if there is one)… before realising that Pulborough and the surrounding area was renowned for it’s horse racing and tributes involving horse-shaped FLORAL tributes were quite common.
One time, I arrived 2hrs early at the funeral directors, to ensure the coffin sprays and tributes were carefully arranged, only to find the hearse and the coffin had already left. I then spent the following two hours driving around Sussex in a Benny Hill type fashion trying to chase down a hearse and driver that appeared to have gone AWOL. Eventually I caught up with them, as they pulled up outside the church with just minutes to spare, just enough to calmly arrange the flowers before the coffin was carried in.
Another time, there were no minutes to spare, this time the funeral director was supposed to be picking the flowers up from the shop, however this small detail must have slipped his mind. Luckily I noticed the hearse pass the shop so I once again jumped in the flower-mobile and gave chase. I was driving like Nigel Mansell (the only racing driver I can think of) around the lanes of Goodwood, desperately trying to catch up with the deceased. Only after catching the hearse, overtaking and flagging down the driver in a lay-by did I find what all the flying around corners and slamming on of brakes had done to the flowers.
It’s not just funerals where these calamities happen …
Last weekend I breathed a large sigh of relief when I’d managed to get a large wedding out first thing Saturday morning. I was just tucking into a well earned sticky bun when the groom rang in a state of panic. He had completely forgotten to order corsages for the mothers and the bride was on her way. I quickly and I mean quickly wired together a couple of floral adornments and jumped in the van, this time overtaking the bride in a vintage wedding car.
The end of this week ended in much the same fashion. I had to drop off a funeral spray at a funeral home in Storrington, which involved backing out on to the main street where I was pretty much blind on both sides. Luckily a very kind lady stood behind backing me out.. “OK come on, all clear” she shouted as she waved me out.
EEEEeeeek went the screech of brakes, then BUMP!!
I looked around to see where the helpful lady had gone and I just caught sight of her skirt flapping as she ran around the corner.
Life as a Village Florist, who’d have thought it would be so eventful!