As we enter another year, for me this means continuing my treatment of chemotherapy and Avastin, a combination which I have been doing very well on and in fact I’m about to have my next treatment at about 1 o’clock today. I very much hope and I know you’re all with me on this that it will continue to be successful. As always I would like to thank everybody for all their messages of support and kind wishes which truly mean a lot to me and give me great encouragement.
This afternoon also brings the arrival of my two Aunts from the Maidstone and Cornwall areas for a little visit, which is very good of them as they are neither of them very well at the moment.
Those of you that enjoyed reading the books I have written, will be interested to know that I’ve just finished my new book which is to be called ‘Sucking Lemons’.
It is about my personal journey with cancer which I really hope will help others. The draft is about to be proof-read and the book should be available in the next couple of months. It has been very good therapy for me to write it especially as I’d pledged not to write another book.
I must thank all the staff as always for all their continued hard work. They are as ever remarkable people. I also want to thank them all for the lovely chair that they bought me at Christmas and the footstall to go with it which they bought me recently for my birthday. They are now in my office and are very comfortable indeed.
We are very pleased to welcome back Neil after his sick leave. He’s been through a very difficult time and has done so well. Great to have you back Neil!
Simon and Jonathan continue to lead the company forward with me in support. It’s a very demanding and difficult job for everybody at Albins but they manage to successfully complete all their work with great sensitivity. Well done team!
Work on the premises continues as ever and we’ve just been replacing ventilation fans and safety equipment in our mortuary which makes it one of the most prestigious in the country and of course the safest. Simon, John and Greg have already started the planning for next year’s garden service which will be held on Wednesday, December 2nd. I know it’s a long way off but there’s no harm in reminding you of the date for your calendars as it’s your attendance that truly makes the evening what it is.
The demands of modern technology and technical advancement of almost everything in the industry means we have to take a constant ongoing fresh approach to our daily work. This I think we’ve been able to do without losing as I always say, the goodness from the work.
Our sincere thanks to all the ministers, priests, celebrants, organists and all those concerned with funerals for their loving support to the communities we serve. They are all we feel, very much a part of our team and we could not manage without them.
I’ve very much enjoyed giving a bereavement lecture to young doctors from Guy’s, St. Thomas’ and King’s College Hospitals. These are student doctors in their year of law and ethics and I spend a day with them at the hospital giving a lecture on bereavement and loss and how we cope going forward, as well as talking about the history of Albins and the area etc. They also each visit us for a full day here at Albins to help bring them in line with changes and paperwork etc. and giving them an insight into the work we do. We’ve undertaken this task with the young doctors for around 10 years now. As I always have to remind everybody only 1% of what we do is generally with those we have lost. The rest of our time is spent assisting the bereaved through our ongoing work; the anniversaries, time in the garden, Memorial Services, general conversation and lending I hope a kind and friendly shoulder to cry on sometimes. It is a very special privilege and one that I truly hope helps those that are left to cope.
Finally some great news! Danny and Jay’s new baby arrived on 23rd January – a healthy 8lb 5oz baby boy with the lovely old-fashioned name of Henry, a baby brother for their daughter Eve. God bless him and keep him and good luck to them all!
I will continue to do my best to defeat this illness and go forward and will try to keep you updated with all our progress every month.
Speak to you soon