Joanna Lumley is already organising her funeral

The actress might be in good health, but says, “even by the maddest measurements, I’m in the last bit of life”

Joanna Lumley is leaving nothing to chance.

The 68-year-old is already planning her funeral and knows exactly what she’ll bring in her "cardboard coffin" to keep her entertained during the "journey to the next bit".

"I’m going to have put in all kinds of things for the journey," she said. "I think we could jam a bit more in our coffins than we do.

"I’m going to have some books, some I haven’t finished or haven’t read, some feathers and nice bits and pieces, the odd note. Just on the journey for the next bit."

The actress was inspired to start thinking about what to take with her after visiting the Malaysian state of Sarawak in Borneo.

"When I was out in Sarawak staying in a long house, one of the old grannies died, and she was buried in lovely bamboo-y leaves, and inside they put a bit of food, money for the journey, cigarettes because I think old granny smoked a bit," she told Saga magazine.

"I’m going to have some books, some I haven’t finished or haven’t read, some feathers and nice bits and pieces, the odd note. Just on the journey for the next bit."

She thinks it’s important to think about such provisions before she is "too gaga" to do so.

"Look, when you’re young you think life is forever, but it’s finite," she said. "I’m 68, so even by the maddest measurements, I’m in the last bit of life.

"All the trouble you will cause by not leaving a will. All the heartache!

"Family feuds are going to happen anyway, so be as clear as you can. And even if it’s only to leave it to the cat’s home, make a will."

But far from being morbid about the idea of death, Lumley approaches the subject with a hearty dose of realism

"Learn from nature. Stuff lives and stuff dies all the time, you know," she said.

"Animals and birds and flowers. Trees come and go, and we come and go. That’s it. So we should all seize life and make the most of what we have, while we can.

"You can’t just expect life to do it for you. You have to do life. You’ve just got to keep doing it up till the last minute."

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