Hello and welcome to what I hope will be regular and entertaining reflections on a wide variety of topics; some of which may, (or may not) be tenuously connected with Udens and their work as funeral directors. First, let me introduce myself. My name is Graham Horak and I recently retired from working with the Uden family for the past 18 years. Before that I was a police officer for 30 years, although my first job after leaving school in 1967 (ah, the summer of love!) was working in my family’s grocery shop in Lewisham. When Matthew asked me what I was going to do in retirement I indicated a life of indulgent idleness; well, why not after 50 years of work. However, he persuaded me to utilise my literary talents by recording my thoughts and reflections in a “blog”.
Like many of my generation, (the post-war baby boomers), I had no idea what a “blog” is; so I will just write down my musings and allow someone else to uplift, upload or simply publish them online and see what happens. I need to say right from the onset, I never wanted to be a funeral director and had no interest in the profession. After 30 years in the Police, 25 of them in a position of rank and authority, I just wanted a job! Let someone else be in charge and take responsibility. I therefore applied for the post of assistant groundsman at Colfe’s College in Eltham. Notice I didn’t want the groundsman’s job; I was happy to be his assistant. I had visions of riding a sit-on mower and marking out the rugby and cricket pitches; whilst on rainy days I would sit in the shed, cleaning my tools and smoking my pipe. They turned me down and said I was over qualified. So, in desperation, and without the slightest idea of what the work entailed, I applied for the role of a driver/bearer with Udens. If anyone has the slightest interest in what happened next, please watch this space for the next exciting chapter of my “blog”.