Punch balled or countersunk!

November 24, 2014   //   No Comments

This month has been very busy, so busy that at present I don’t even know what day of the week it is and I’ve arrived a day early for a night out and got the dates wrong for a family day out!

October and November have been full of banquets and conferences. It started at the ICCM conference in Scunthorpe when I was able to welcome Ken Dry to his presidential year. The following Friday, Mary and I were off to Telford for the CFSMA bash and to see Mark Jones hand over the chain to Phil Barr. It was a great night and I was asked to reply to one of the toasts, which was slightly daunting as one of only a handful of independent funeral directors amongst all the Co-op’s hierarchy. I thought it would be like a ‘rabbit in the headlights’ but it turned out to be more ‘David and Goliath’. The following week I visited Ireland for the first time in SAIF’s history we were invited to the Northern Island divisional meeting of the BIE, BIFD and NAFD. I was made made very welcome and I look forward to going back again to explore more of the their wonderful country. The following weekend and Mary and I were in Bournemouth for the BIFD conference and Banquet to see Sally Walton finish her year and David Gresty take over as President.

My last regional meeting was in my home region of Kent and held at Maidstone. It was a very well attended meeting with over 40 members and associates present. As it’s my region I had two jars of honey for the prize of guess the numbers of hours I have been away from home on SAIF business which so far is 946 hours! The winner was Ivor Spencer of Cleverley & Spencer, Monumental Masons and the second was Hannah Banfield from Birds Family Funeral Directors . This helped raise our largest amount of the year, £309.40 which is absolutely marvellous. Thank you all very much. We also had a presentation from the Virtual Dementia Tour. I was chosen to be the patient and I apologise to the members present for my words and actions during the demonstration. What it has done is given me a greater understanding of Dementia and I would urge you all to take up the tour for yourself, company and local Nursing homes. This is an exclusive product to SAIF members and as such you may benefit from a discount and a great awareness opportunity in your local community.

I also attended the SAIF Education Day, which had a good list of speakers and attendees. Also things are starting to build up for Crisis in preparation for Christmas which will keep me busier throughout this and next month. If anyone would like more information as to how to help the homeless then look at the crisis website, www.crisis.org.uk.



This month has been a strange one in regards to the weather. I managed to extract the honey last month which is normally is the last we get, but as the warm weather continued the bees kept making more, which is a good thing as this will help them get through the winter. We feed the bees sugar syrup to boost their supplies but honey is always better which is handy as I’ve been so busy that I wasn’t able to get out to them to keep topping up their syrup. Bees don’t sleep over the winter, they cluster in a ball to keep the Queen warm and need food to do this.

This month is also the National Honey Show and I was keen to expand on my entries this year to include some wax. I was unhappy with the standard of my entries due to the lack of preparation time having been out for the last six weekends with SAIF but I managed twelve entries. This year had one of the largest show entries with over 1700 in various classes. To my amazement, I did rather well, in fact, my best year so far with three 1st prizes. I excelled in medium honey, six, one ounce blocks and for my honey label. This resulted in receiving two Silver Cups, something that I have never won before. I was also awarded 2nd in a wax block and a 4th and highly commended for my candles, which is great for my first year. A full list of entries and information can be found at www.nationalhoneyshow.co.uk. Now all I need to do is to make sure the bees can survive the winter. Watch this space…

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