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Gyles Brandreth's Diary: Heaven can wait

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The Grim Reaper has been busy. How dare he take up so much of our time.

It’s not that I don’t want to give old friends a good send-off. It’s just that I resent the time it takes. I am 69, but still in full-time employment. (I need to be. I have discovered that money is the one thing keeping me in touch with my children.) Go to a funeral and, by the time you’ve got there, attended the service, moved on to the crematorium, come back for finger food, made the small talk – ‘See you at the next one, Charlie.’ ‘Hardly worth going home, is it?’ – and returned to base, that’s the best part of a day lost and gone for ever. And the dear departed don’t even know you’ve bothered. My wife, who generously makes all the decisions in our household, has decided we’ve got to cut back. She has instituted two new family rules, in the hope of curtailing the time...

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