Visitors at the Big Tent Festival, at the Falkland Estate, Fife on Sunday 22nd July were treated to an early view of the Handbook of Scotland's Wild Harvests, in a talk presented by Fi Martynoga and Emma Chapman of the Scottish Wild Harvests Association. Here's Fi explaining how the hunter-gathering instincts of our ancestors have been harnessed by supermarket chains, and how we should reclaim them without delay! The event was a sell-out, and we hope lots of people are already sampling the book's recipes.
Michael Kerrigan talks about some of the ideas in his book Where There's a Will, which was published during Dying Matters Awareness Week in May. He is joined by counsellor Dianne McKenzie of Butterwick Hospice in Bishop Auckland, where the book was launched, and by Jenny Uzzell of funeral directors Saint and Forster and Linda Blakelock of Divine Departures.
Death is still often described as the ultimate taboo, or "the Last Taboo", as an article in issue 5 of C21 magazine calls it (their website has a page on end-of-life issues). Yet all the changes we have witnessed in the last generation or so – ranging from longer life expectancy and more advanced medical care all the way to complex debt plans, blended family structures and increased concerns about our impact on the planet – make it ever more important to think about dying and death and plan for our own affairs, and/or to help our loved ones face these issues. If we don't tackle them, we run the risk of exposing our survivors to some difficult decisions. Should you have a care plan? Who has your online passwords? Do you want a green burial? Have you made a will and appointed executors? How much does a funeral cost? What are the issues behind the assisted suicide debate? What happens when someone dies unexpectedly? This book examines these questions and many more, keeping the tone readable, light and approachable. The Dying Matters Coalition reviewer points out that "It's when Kerrigan is urging us to seize the day before it seizes us that he is at his most compelling."
Don't put your head in the sand and leave your loved ones a whole lot of grief, urges Kerrigan. Take control of your affairs instead, and help your loved ones by making it easier for them to face up to the issues and discuss them openly.