Blog - new for 2021!
It's all about the numbers...
It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post - too long in fact. There has just been so much going on - or at least that’s how it feels! I have a few blog posts in the pipe line though so watch out for those.
Today or this week even, is a week of numbers. First off we have 1 Penlow - we all know that; there will never be another quite like Penlow, not for me anyway.
Then we move on to 10. I realised this morning that it is ten years today since my Granfer went on his next big adventure. If it wasn’t for him - Atlantic Rest would not exist at Penlow, as it does today.
100 is next - as you might have seen last week, we now have 100 residents residing at their forever homes. Carefully chosen, either by themselves or by their loved ones.
Now is the turn of 200…. well 205 to be exact! Last week the huge oak tree in the woods was finally measured! I don’t know how many times I have said to visitors when on tours, that 'I must measure that tree one day to try to find out how old it is'. Hazel helped me with this task - thank you Hazel, it measured 2.6m around! Now according to tree-guide.com that makes our oak tree 205 years old! Wow - I wonder if it was originally planted by someone; or, if it is just a self seeded sapling that became strong and mighty? I guess we will never know.
The last of our numbers in the theme for today is 300. This week we finished planting the wildflower plugs. I suppose I could slip in the number 20 here, as that is how many different varieties there were planted!
It took a pretty long time to plant all of these. I started off with a little helper who planted wildflowers for her Mummy on what would be her birthday, and her Aunty helped her too. Then I had a grown up helper - Hazel came along twice and helped with the bulk of the planting. It took some time because there were so many; and for many resting places, it involved taking a section of turf off to expose the soil and then plant. More wildflower seeds have been scattered too where they were needed.
Yesterday and today we tackled a bit of grass cutting. So the long grasses in the wildflower area are now all cut. Some sections have been raked and removed. Others have just been raked off of the path and then tomorrow - I’ll remove some more. Always something to do.
Until next time……
Blog Post - Friends of Penlow Facebook Group
This idea was something thats been in the back of my mind for quite some time. I wondered if it might be nice to be able to create some form of online community for those with loved ones resting at Penlow and those who will one day themselves reside there.
I know in the past at an open day a few families who attended the open day at the same time, got the chance to meet each other. One lady asked me after that if I would give her number to another lady that she’d been chatting with and hadn’t thought at the time to do that. I of course did this, and I’d like to think that it helped to create a new friendship.
More recently I was chatting with a gentleman who’s wife resides at Penlow. A little while in to the conversation we chatted about another gentleman, who I knew he’d met at Penlow while he was doing the same thing - visiting his wife’s grave, as he’d told me about their meeting. I said that I’d not seen the other gentleman for a while and that I must contact him to say hello. Following on from that I discovered that they’d both exchanged telephone numbers. I think that it’s really lovely that new friendships can be forged from a common interest in Penlow.
I wanted to think that I could help take this further. I know that not everyone ‘does facebook’ but for now it’s the only option that I can think of to establish such a group. Open to suggestions if anyone has any others by the way!
So after some really positive feedback from members on both platforms - I created a private group.
So with being a private group, this means that no one can see what has been ‘posted’ unless they are a member. I have set a membership question in order to join the group asking the name of your loved one resting at Penlow.
We’ve had a nice little response so far and are currently a group of 19 members. Some members have chosen to introduce themselves, and say a little bit about their loved one(s), who make up the Penlow family.
Yesterday as it was Mother’s Day we had some members sharing photos of their Mum’s which was quite lovely. Personally, I really enjoy seeing photos of our residents - quite often I don’t get to meet those who rest with us, so it’s a nice insight for me seeing them. Our new ‘Friends of Penlow’ group is a different way to remember people and a place to share things, on a common ground.
There is of course as always with me and what we do at Atlantic Rest - absolutely no pressure to join, share or contribute if you don’t want too. Grief and loss are such individual journeys - I hope that this group may help some of you on those journeys.
We also had our ‘Ladies Day’ yesterday as we do at Penlow on our social media pages - I created our Ladies Day and Gentleman's Day because I’m very much all for inclusivity. There isn’t a ‘specific day’ to mention all the ladies or all the gentlemen otherwise.
I did this because not everyone gets the opportunity to even think about whether they want to be a parent, let alone try to be. I don’t think it’s fair for those people to slip through the net, so everyone gets a mention at Penlow.
Signing off until the next instalment! Sheridon x
What's in a word?
‘winemaker’, ‘download’, ‘unlisted’
More specifically what’s in 3 of them??
I’m sure many of you have heard of the what3words app?
what3words has given every 3m square in the world a unique 3 word address. The words are randomly assigned to each square and will always stay the same.
It’s really easy to access the locations through an app on your mobile device. This service I guess you would call it has been around for about 8 years now (as long as we’ve been open almost!) and is used by millions of people around the world.
We like to try to stay up to date with technology where we can. Some sites put a microchip in their plots after a burial takes place so that they can be read with a handheld reader at a later date. We didn’t decided to go down that route, we just use our records (paper and computer based) and a good old tape measure! Also my memory is alright at the moment so I could just tell you were anyone was - but that only works if I happen to be there or if I’m on the end of the phone to guide you to where you need to be!
Up until now I’ve always said that if anyone visiting would like to know where their loved one is and they can tell me before hand - I can put a temporary marker there to help them find that resident of Penlow. I will still continue to do this if anyone asks by the way.
Today this wasn’t what I planned to do, but - I walked around and recorded all the what3words for the yellow marker pins, that we have in the site on the corners of the grids. This came about because after meeting a lady that chose a plot - we located the what3words combination for a future date. So I thought I’d Cornish style ‘crack on with it’ …. it is St. Piran’s day you know!
So moving forward, when I issue maps for Penlow to those purchasing plots; or choosing for their loved ones to be buried with us - our maps will include the what3words references. This isn’t going to take someone to a specific plot, unless it happens to be one of the four corner plots - but it will take you to the vicinity and hopefully that will make it a little easier to find loved ones.
Penlow does change a lot during the seasons so it’s quite easy to feel a little disorientated when it’s been a while between visits. Also if you do find your loved one this way - you can always use the facility in the app to give you the three words for that particular plot.
For anyone who hasn’t visited Penlow before and would like too - the what3words for the entrance are: awards.notch.winner…..I quite like those!
#AtlanticRest #Penlow #NaturalBurial #AshesBurial #GreenBurial #What3Words #Technology #KeepingUpToDate
Blog number 2 - January round up… (31st January 2021)
So what’s been happening at Penlow in January I hear you ask? For anyone who has missed any of the regular social media updates - not everything makes it on to there anyway.
We have done quite a bit actually: Tom has been busy with our trolley, we bought it several years ago and it was always a bit over the top for the job we wanted it to do (we think it was an old airport trolley - the sort all your suitcases would end up on) so we have always intended for it to be narrower and far lighter than it was! This is now the case :-) Tom first took the angle grinder to it before Christmas and from using my new found social media skills from Flossy Notes I created our first ever ‘story’ on facebook and instagram. Stories are a snapshot of what’s going on behind the scenes. This particular story was viewed by Rich - a friend of Penlow. He very kindly offered to powder coat the parts for us and the rest as they say is history!
We had been waiting for time to allow for Tom to start phase 2 of this project and that happened this weekend. So hopefully by the time I get to our next blog in mid - Feb I will be featuring a finished picture! Incase you are wondering - the trolley is an aid to help convey loved ones to the bottom part of Penlow.
Tom and I also spent several hours weeding the path but thats a never ending job. I’ve spent many hours scraping paint off of our office. There have been several ‘stories’ with updates on that! It’s a very slow and monotonous job, but, I have faith that the outcome will be wonderful! After asking for some opinion on the finish via facebook the other day - we are going to leave the most part natural. The windows and doors will be white though as it’s a different kind of wood and the paint coming off is not going that well.
- Welcome to Terry
We welcomed Terry to the Penlow family on the first day of lockdown 3. This would have been his 80th birthday - he was almost our 80th resident too, but is actually our 81st! A beautiful welcome as always, heartfelt and a pleasure to work with Denise Wellington and Suzanne Brown on this occasion.
It was Atlantic Rest’s 7th birthday at the beginning of the month. We very nervously sat in the council office in Liskeard, in 2014, patiently waiting for our planning application to be heard at committee level. Gosh, just thinking about it makes me shiver - scariest 3 minutes of my life speaking to the county councillors to say my piece! Anyway, it all ended well and that’s a distant memory really - knowing how much we have helped over 200 families find the right place to rest their loved ones or themselves one day makes it all worthwhile.
- Sensational Sunset
I received a beautiful sunset photo one evening from Sid. This was taken on a December evening last year. It’s just stunning and I’m really pleased that he has allowed me to share it with you all.
New kid on the block!
Earlier this month I chatted with Lynda Davies via instagram. Lynda is a newly qualified celebrant who trained with the Institute of Professional Celebrants. Lynda wanted to have a look around Penlow so of course I happily obliged. Lynda’s business name is Yours through Life. She is not only trained as a funeral celebrant but can also conduct wedding and vow renewals and baby naming ceremonies to name a few.
It’s good to have another choice in the pool of celebrants available in the North Devon area. We look forward to working with you sometime Lynda.
Hawthorn tree for Mandy
We were able to plant a hawthorn tree for Mandy this month - fulfilling her wish. This took place with a small number of family members. We always do our best to include family when we plant trees - if they would like to be included.
We’ve loaned out a copy of the Natural Death Handbook and have one other copy if anyone would like to borrow it. It’s been isolated and is available to anyone who can collect locally.
We had a price increase this year which we’ve not done is 2019, so it was time to print new leaflets and informational booklets. We have Easy Print South West to thank for those. It’s so lovely to use local companies where possible and it’s always a great service.
- Photo captures
What have we captured so far this year at Penlow??
Well there has been quite a lot - primroses, campion, daffodils and foxgloves are growing away too. Mushrooms that like to grow in the strangest places! Moss & lichen have made some interesting photos, that I’m yet to share. That’s my plan tomorrow with ‘Moss Monday’. There have been some lovely frosty leaves, catkins, snails, empty nuts, and lots of robins!
- Maintenance time
John has been back to Penlow again now the weather is allowing, he has been busy so far with strimming the fence line between the path and the sheep. That’s looking much tidier now. He’s back next week for more maintenance jobs and to get Penlow looking spick and span and ready for a new years growth of the grasses and wildflowers.
The People’s Awards were announced this month by the Natural Death Centre Charity, this year the South West regional award went to Westmill in Oxford. Congratulations to Liz and the team there.
It was lovely to receive our feedback from our families - it means so much to us. I’m hoping with my new found skills to put together a little slideshow or something to share some of the comments with you all.
Lastly, it’s sometimes very hard to share with people what we offer at Penlow because death and dying is such a taboo subject still. We’ve had two different friends of Penlow make suggestions to us of publications local to them. So you might see us in the Launceston Life quarterly magazine or on their online directory. You could also see us featured in the Torrington Crier if it’s a publication you receive.
We are always grateful to anyone who helps to get the word out that there are more choices now by sharing our posts and telling others when it’s appropriate.
Well that got a bit long again didn’t it? Seems that there is much more that goes on each month than I sometimes realise!
Signing off till the next time - Sheridon x
2021 - Trying something new in the world of technology...
Welcome to my first blog!
At the end of 2020, I decided that it was time to strengthen my social media skills. I always find social media for Atlantic Rest a little bit of a strange entity; it’s not the sort of thing that I invite people to ‘like’ for example on Facebook, but it’s more of a way of people feeling a connection to the nature of Penlow, and with their loved ones resting here.
So, rewind to 2014, we started off with a website, which I’ve always done myself, and a Facebook page. As I said, I rarely invite ‘likers’ so it’s mostly an organic following and I think that’s a good thing, because just like Penlow itself, you only really come across it if you are looking for it.
Our Social Media Upgrades
The first lockdown forced us to get ourselves on YouTube to be able to share Penlow with everyone; we tend to post videos showcasing the site, landscape, seasonal changes, wildlife, and views beyond. Here’s our channel: Sheridon Rosser - Atlantic Rest
Then, in November last year, I stumbled upon Flossy Notes via Instagram one day and looked at her page. Flossy Notes is a local independent, small business marketing agency, run by the lovely Ellie Ford.
Ellie conducted an appraisal of Atlantic Rest as a business and service, she highlighted any gaps. Then she educated me immensely in social media savviness - in just a few hours, before Christmas! We’ve even ended up on LinkedIn now too.
I’ve always tried to keep my eyes peeled while at Penlow to spot that butterfly gently resting on the leaf; or the little ladybird that’s roaming along the fence. Not forgetting the wildflowers that are just about to open themselves up to the world, and all the other wonderful things that I’ve been able to capture so far. I love sharing these photos with you; this is how I see Penlow, and why I love it here. I know how much these snippets are appreciated by so many of you, for yourselves and your loved ones with us.
I am still learning but hopefully things will seem a little more professional to you all now, flowing nicely in-sync. It may even be a little more time efficient for me too! Especially now we are finding ourselves back in the realms of homeschooling. I don’t make a great teacher by the way, hats off to the professionals.
Well I guess I better wrap this up here, this first blog didn’t really turn out how I expected! I was planning to share with you all what’s been happening at Penlow over the last fortnight but I appear to have rambled on about other stuff instead - I don’t want you all to fall asleep. So next time I’ll share what’s been going on in the month of January!
Hope you enjoyed reading enough to want to read the next one.
Signing off for now - Sheridon x