Misfits Mid-Life Crisis Adventures in …………..Surrey, Croydon, Essex, North and Central London.
Week 54 (or Week 17 of the new adventure), Saturday 27th June until Friday 3rd July 2015.
When I was a kid there was a huge cemetery that I run around, this was not for fun it was torture that the school though I would enjoy. I have to admit there were a number of occasions when I took a detour through the cemetery. I find them interesting places, I like walking around reading names and dates wondering who the people were what kind of life they lead. I recently found a little graveyard in North London where the painter John Constable is buried.
Last weekend I went to Highgate Cemetery in North London, and went on a tour with MOZ and Rac of the West cemetery we were lucky enough to be shown round by the chairman of the charity that runs the place. Highgate is actually 2 cemetery’s the East and West, both are full of history and memories. A lot of the over grown vegetation is self-seeded, we were told that originally there were trees planted with neat pathways but over time the plant life has overgrown the graves. It brought a smile to MOZ and I when we saw that there were a number of squirrels living in the trees.
It was explained that that when the cemetery opened there was so much more of an industry around death compared to today. A married woman would be expected to wear mourning cloths head to toe in black (I love a Goth girl) for 2 yrs, then after that she would be in half morning for a number of years after that.
Over the year graves have started to crumble and physically be moved by the roots of trees and other vegetation. It was explained that they don’t repair they try to conserve the environment in its natural state.
The East cemetery is the one that you walk around on your own under your own steam. I looked at the free map which pinpointed famous and other well-known people who have been laid to rest. I found sic-fi hero Douglas Adams, comedian Max Wall, punk impresarios and style icon Malcom Mclaren, scientist Michael Faraday and TV presenter and collector of odd facts Jeremy Beadle. However possibly the most famous person was revolutionary socialist Karl Marx who has a huge monument and tucked away amongst the bushes is his original grave stone that can hardly be read due to it being warn away. Walking round with my map looking for the next famous grave made me think of this as an unusual tourist attraction. Highgate doesn’t get money from the Government, it makes its money from the ticket price, it costs £1000 a day to run the place.
In Mozziebeak I saw small grave yards near the houses that they had lived in, normally outside the house the family still occupied. The dead were not forgotten over there. In our culture graves are tended for a while but then life carries on, which I understand. In Highgate there was one grave that looked out of place it was of a young person who passed away in 2000 but the grave was still being looked after 15 years.
I do think of death quite a lot, it’s a fact of life. I know what I want for my service i’m not religious so don’t want any of that guff. I do want the following songs “Theres is a light that never goes out “ by The Smiths, “Creep” by Radiohead, “Weirdo” by the Charlatoans and “Mariella” by Kate Nash. I don’t want speeches, DJ just play the songs, which say everything about me. I remember my dad’s service and listening to the speeches and thinking there not talking about him. I said for a long time I wanted my ashes scattered at BBC Television Centre (my fave building) on the grass under the statute of Helios. But in recent years that grass was replaced by windows for the offices in the basement. The centre has now been closed due to being refurbished in to hotels and shops, when it reopens there will be a small BBC TV presence but it won’t be the TVC I remember and love. So I’ll have to choose a new site to thrown on to.
People are still being buried at Highgate, but it costs that’s why I won’t be spending eternity with the likes of Adams, Marx, Wall, Gish, Mclaren et al…..
We had a heat wave this week, my mozziebeak hat has come out of retirement. Problems on train getting home at the weekend and still couldn’t get a cab for the 2nd weekend. I have been buying little pots of porridge then having at work. Had toothache which meant I had to see the sexy dentist again early. Making coffee at work and adding cold water, done that more than once this week. Eating chips with my niece on a Friday evening. Sad to hear about John Noakes a childhood TV hero of mine, he has dementia.
The Mid Life Crisis Conts……
This week I have been watching: “Graham Norton” (Season 17, eps 13 compilation show),”Inside Out”, “Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (eps 7), “Game of Thrones” (Season 5, eps 10), “Vicious” (Season 2, eps 5), “Interceptor”, (ep 4), “Clangers”, (eps 11 to 15), “Humans”, (eps 3), “My Mad Fat Diary”, (Season 3, eps 2), “The Last Leg”, (Season 6, eps 2), “Top Gear”, (Season 22, eps 8 The final one), “Cordon” (eps 1 & 2), The Wizard of OZ (1939).
This week I have mainly been listening to, “Morrissey”, “Lana Del Ray”, “Vaccines”, “The Beatles”, “Bjork”, “Florence + The Machine”, “Ash”, “Sleeper”.
Reading on Kindle……“A Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire” book 2 “ A Clash of Kings” by George R.R. Martin.