Born in 1964 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, I had a fairly normal childhood getting up to the usual things youngsters should and sometimes shouldn't get up to, in a beautiful part of England's green and pleasant land. From an early age I've always enjoyed entertaining people, particularly in a comical way through anecdotes, visual, or spontaneous observational humour. I love the sound of laughter and comical banter. Unfortunately, in my youth, and especially at school, this could often get me into trouble but later on in life in the 'big bad world', it has often been a positive attribute at work and in leisure, rather than a negative one.
The inspiration for my book 'An Odd Undertaking', really comes from other people's interest and curiosity about the subject of death and the funeral business. Questions I would be asked when people found out I was an undertaker and the desire to hear all about my adventures. That morbid fascination that our species seems to possess. Having decided to actually write a book, I wanted it to be as much about the journey of life as it is about death and my experiences as an undertaker. About family, friendships, and the weird and wonderful characters that we share this rather unpredictable journey with. I wanted my story to be an entertaining and mostly humorous read - to be interesting and factual - to quell misunderstandings - and occasionally to be a little thought provoking. The real challange was how to get the balance right between the humorous aspect of my writing while retaining the respect and solemnity that the subject of death deserves. I feel I have managed to achieve that balance quite successfully.
Relocated from the idyllic leafy surrounings of the Cotswolds, in 1977, to the urban hustle and bustle of city life in London, I left school at the age of sixteen and a variety of career paths unfolded, before leading me into the intriguing world of the funeral business. It certainly was, 'An Odd Undertaking'.
An engaging story of life and death, An Odd Undertaking features Bill Wood’s memories of his career as an undertaker in London during the 1990s.
From learning the trade, to the challenging work of body removal, to humorous tales about what happens when things don’t go quite as planned, this is a thoroughly entertaining and thought-provoking read.
Follow Bill in the wake of the Grim Reaper as he meanders through topics as varied as funerals, exhumations and mortuary tales, while respecting the solemnity of death and quelling some of the myths and misunderstandings about undertakers and funerals along the way.
An Odd Undertaking is a book that is as much about life as it is about death; a fascinating read on an unusual topic.
Born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, in 1964, Bill Wood, found himself relocated from the idyllic leafy surroundings of the Cotswolds to the urban hustle and bustle of city life in London. Leaving school at the age of 16, a variety of career paths unfold before leading him into the intriguing world of the funeral business. Bill now lives in Cheltenham.