The Bacon Bap Brigade which meets every Friday morning after Choir was sorely depleted today.
This was partly because stalwart
BBB members Roland and Shirley had jetted off to Sorrento, armed with lots of hopefully helpful holiday information from Mr B and me who still consider our trip to Sorrento one of our favourite ever vacations. Who needs TripAdvisor when Mr B and I are to hand?
Margaret who usually has a bacon bap chose a toasted tea-cake instead, while Avril declined any accompaniment to her coffee as did Myra, Christine and Terry. The lasses in the kitchen, who have probably got in the habit of buying in vast quantities of
baps and bacon every Friday to cater for the BBB must have wondered what had happened.
Usually one can guarantee that, along with the consumption of bacon baps
and several refills of coffee, there will be a wide-ranging and scintillating conversation. Unfortunately this morning we got a bit stuck on bones and bodies.
This was all down to the fact that two of our number had just been on Questers’ visits to the Worthing Crematorium and a local undertakers. Questers, regular readers will recall, is a Worthing U3A group which organises “behind
the scenes” visits to various places near and far. Usually Mr B and I sign up for virtually every Questers visit on the grounds that we don’t know if we will find something interesting until we have been there. However neither of us fancied
the crematorium or the undertakers which just goes to show that we are a squeamish pair.
Not so our fellows who launched into a long and detailed account of their
visits, including a blow by blow account of what happens to the bodies once the curtains in the crematorium chapel have been drawn. It sounded just like a modern replay of those scenes in Oliver Twist when the young Oliver is apprenticed (for want of
a more accurate word) to undertaker Mr Sowerberry, he of the mean wife. Mr S, of course, seized on the idea of having the angelic-looking Oliver play the part of a mute who would accompany the coffin at infant deaths and break even the hardest of hearts. I
can’t imagine that happening today – though the BBB was treated to lots of information about the modern day equivalent which some of us would really rather not have known. “It took all the mystique
out of it,” quoth one, appreciatively. I’m quite comfortable with a bit of mystique myself.
I kept trying to change the subject, I really did,
especially as at least one of our number was clearly feeling uncomfortable. Perhaps it was the sheer awful fascination of death that drew the conversation ever back to the bones and the bodies. Short of bursting into a rendition of “Them bones,
them bones, them dry bones,” I couldn’t think of any other way to lighten the conversation.
Mind you, I could have introduced my great grandfather
into the conversation. He was an undertaker who specialised in making those rather splendid capes and hats - often described as "widow's weeds". I didn't think about this connection until I set about writing this blog - but then this morning I was trying
in vain to change the subject, rather than to extend it.
When I was at school we used to have ghoulish discussions on whether, if convicted of Murder Most Foul, we would prefer to be hanged,
die by lethal injection, enter the gas chamber or succumb to the electric chair. This was in the days before the death penalty was repealed in Britain so the subject still held an awful, morbid, shivery fascination for us young’uns. Considering
that we were almost certainly the most law-abiding group of young gals you could ever meet – the smoking of a cigarette was the most heinous crime any of us could own up to – it is difficult indeed to understand why we ever entered upon this conversation,
let alone returned to it from time to time. Uplifting it was not.
Apparently, according to those who had visited the crematorium and the undertakers, the
rest of had missed a real treat.
I think I’ll stick to the bacon baps.