Update - Missing Photos

    As some have noticed a few photos are missing, which I am aware of and is deliberate.  Quite a while ago I filled up my photo allotment, the Picasa web album only allows about 1GB of pictures for free.  I started uploading new photos to another free online image hosting site "postimage", and moving some of the older popular ones to here.

    While this works well enough it does not allow bigger images, physically or size wise, for example I cannot upload panoramic images through this site.  So I have been removing old images that get no views, to make space on the Picasa album for the large images postimage cannot host.  Simply put these images are not worth the time it would take to convert them over to postimage, they are going from the blog.

    As such quite a few images are already "missing", not because they are lost or someone has asked them to be removed.  But because I am making space for newer and better content.  I do really appreciate people have noticed this, as it shows others not only read my blog, but take time to help out!

    Anyway, if you notice a missing photo and feel like letting me know do so, but it will be common on older and unread posts and is a deliberate thing.



Guest Post - What Funerals Mean to Me

    Below is an interesting little description from an undertaker of what funerals mean on a personal level.  Specifically how being un undertaker has influenced their views of the funeral service and of death in general.  It was a fun little read and as such I am sharing it (with permission) on my blog, it's great to get other perspectives like this one.


Blog Stats - 28/01/13

    Time for another blog stats breakdown, as I continue to find this interesting and useful.  This moth was actually quite surprising in a few ways.

The Rookwood Picnic


    The picnic was a huge success, exactly what I hoped for in ever way, it was a small but great gathering of fun people in a casual way.  In total only five people attended, but everyone was great fun and added something to the conversation and dynamics.  We had a nice variety of people from very different backgrounds.  There was even one person who had never worked in the industry but was keen on joining it.

    The weather forecasts had warned of afternoon rain, yet it was already raining by the time I got up.  Not a great weather for a picnic, but the place was under cover and the rain was only light, so I was not too worried.  In the end the rain turned out to be a mixed blessing.  As due to the building design the rain gently fell off the roof into the little pool, creating a very nice background trickling and sloshing sound.

    Having enough food is always important for functions, you want too much so people do not feel uncomfortable eating as they please.  In this instance we were spot on, there was more than enough food to share, and also a decent diversity of food.

    We all sat on a blanket in the middle of the building, it was not exactly the most comfortable but it was certainly acceptable and good fun.  Despite the rain we managed to create the picnic vibe while staying dry.  The discussion was also quite good, ranging in topics but focusing on the industry as everyone there had a real interest and passion for the industry.  We shared experiences of what it is like to work funerals, funny stories and company information.  Everyone had a good time, and we were there from 11:00 to just after 16:00, so five hours all up.

    Overall I count this as a huge success, the numbers were low and weather bad, yet we all managed to have a great time.  So I will be trying to organise more casual events in the future, from cemetery walks to specialty museum visits.


    Below are some pictures of the where we had the picnic in good weather for anyone interested, as it really is a unique, interesting and nice place.  A very modern place which downplays religious imagery, it was built by a Catholic organisation and yet has no crucifix.  Perhaps an indication of where things are going.


Rookwood Picnic Reminder

    Just a quick reminder, I have organised a small and casual picnic at Rookwood for anyone interested in the funeral industry.  It's on the 27th, 11:00 to 15:00 and at the Catholic Way of the Cross in Rookwood cemetery.  The picnic is pot luck, so while there should be plenty of food to share please bring something, even a drink as a gesture.

    If you are interested in the funeral industry (or read this blog) feel free to attend, it's a nice small gathering of a few fun people I met through my studies so far.  It is not supported or sponsored by any organisation, so no matter who you work for feel free to come along!

    The weather reports warn of rain, but I am not cancelling as there is good cover and it might not rain during the day.  At worse the picnic will move to the Reflections Cafe by the East gate.  So if you turn up and nobody is there do not be disappointed, we will be at the cafe.


Information about Rookwood, from history to how to get there and maps.

A map for those unfamiliar with Rookwood.

Bus timetable.  Although I do recommend driving, but there are two bus stops within 10 minutes walk.



Lego Funeral Director Play Set

    Here is a fake lego funeral play set, complete with crying mourners, a coffin, and even a crematorium.  Personally I think it is rather amusing, and a wonderful idea!

    This has already made the rounds on certain circles (such as coffin-talk), so I thought it appropriate to discuss it.  Despite the fact that it is fake it has potential, we are seeing more alternative and specific lego sets as lego becomes more popular.  Take for example this lego aircraft carrier, or this life size lego house built by James May.  There are numerous lego groups and exhibitions, even official ones like Brickworks in Sydney.  It is not beyond reason or possibility for lego to make a certain number of funeral theme sets.

     Some might think a lego themed set would be upsetting or inappropriate for the most part.  A mixing of children's toys and death is rather touchy to say the least.  But as the comments on this "Confessions of a Funeral Director" post show many people would like it.  I asked a few friends who I know to be 'squeamish' about death and funerals.  One is so 'squeamish' that she gets uncomfortable at seeing a photo of an empty hearse.  Because it reminds her of funerals and death an the likes.  Yet even she (and everyone I spoke with) really liked this idea and would buy it or compete for it.

    Perhaps one day a funeral company will get in touch with lego and have a promotional event, I (and a few others I know) would certainly participate!  It is a possibility, and there is a market, so why not?



Vulnerable Capitves

    The 'vulnerable captives' is a surprisingly common public view of the funeral customer.  I have found hints of it in many comments and stories about the funeral industry.  In this post I look at what the 'vulnerable captive' is.


Are We Too Comfortable?

    A couple of people have said how some topics on my blog are a little 'out there' or 'uncomfortable' in a way.  That I basically talk about sensitive things which makes them a little uncomfortable.

    But is this a bad thing?  Perhaps it is about time some things were said as we have gotten too comfortable.


The New ESMP Site

    Estern Suburbs Memorial Park Cemetery & Crematorium (ESMP) launched their new site a white ago.  At the time I was both busy and waiting to see what other changes might be made.  But ait is now about time I discussed the new site.  As it is well worth discussing and a great step in the right direction.


Preliminary Results: Funeral Industry Knowledge

    These are the results for the second survey, on how well people know the funeral industry. This survey was only ever intended as a test, to see if certain concepts were worth exploring further.  In that regard it was a huge success as tje results were rather informative and interesting (at least for me). 

    As always, a big thank you to those who participated!!  This would not be possible without the support and involvement from everyone.


Preliminary Results: Funeral Attendance

    Here are the early results from the first survey on funeral attendance.  The results were quite interesting, and while mostly what I expected there were a few surprises.

    As always, a big thank you to those who participated!!  This would not be possible without the support and involvement from everyone.


Ageism - Hiring Younger Staff

    Ageism is a large part of the funeral industry and is something actually encouraged by the industry.  Many regard it as a minor thing, not even an issue and completely write it off.  However, it has a direct and indirect negative impact on companies and individuals.


What I Will Study

    What I "study" has often caused some confusion amongst people.  Many misunderstand my objectives and focus.  So it is time to explain how I "study" the industry.


Picnic in Rookwood

    I am organising a small and casual picnic in Rookwood for the last weekend of January.  It is a simple event open to anyone and everyone with a personal interest in the funeral industry.

    For the specific details read the post below!


Welcome Back

    Time for a post about the blog, as in thoughts and goals for next year.