A very good evening to you all from the Lifestyle Support Guru, although you may think that the title is rather inappropriate tonight, given that I wish to give a brief guide to… a good FUNERAL (take note, whoever’s going to organise mine!).
1. Get the ‘guests’ to wear a cheerful colour (but not pink, please; yellow is good). Black is so depressing and doesn’t flatter the older face.
2. Ensure that the organist can actually play, especially ‘Jerusalem’ – or maybe the version I heard today was a new ‘hipster’ one where the notes are played at half the speed of the congregation’s rendition and not necessarily in the same key all the way through. Or the organist may have been from the Eric Morecambe School of Organ Playing, where the notes are right, just not necessarily in the right order.
3. Unless you live in Wales, where they are compulsory, consider hiring a male voice choir (there’s usually one in every city, just hanging around waiting to be asked to a good funeral) – this will ensure that the hymns are sung with the right amount of gusto and volume and will drown out the sound of the organist (see above).
4. Choose hymns that are not too high in key (such as ‘Morning Has Broken’) – remember that some people are getting on and can’t reach those high notes unless they’ve got their knickers in a twist. (‘Bread of Heaven’ is always a pretty safe bet, catering for all voices, and harmony if required.)
5. Ask whoever does the ‘speech’ about the ‘dear departed’ to avoid phrases such as ‘an independent woman’ because this is just another way of saying ‘bloody-minded’, ‘annoying’ or ‘opinionated’.
6. At the ‘do’ afterwards, it is not a good idea to have large cream buns included in the buffet, as one or two of your guests will end up looking like they have been in a custard pie fight, which will be particularly noticeable on the dark clothes that everyone will be wearing (yellow is far less likely to show custard pie stains). Some of the more ‘refained’ guests will demonstrate how to eat a cream bun properly by cutting it in half first, or by separating the top from the bottom (so to speak), thus making those with cream and icing sugar all the way down their front feel that they have no class or style at all (this would not, of course, happen to the LSG, whose timeless sense of style and class is often imitated but never fully equalled).
On that note, I shall take myself off to bed. It is likely that I shall wake myself up at some point during the night with my own rendition of ‘Bread of Heaven’ (yes, that has really happened!), so I need to get as many hours of beauty sleep as I can before that happens. Sleep well!