For the love of Cemeteries

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I have a love of cemeteries. I always have done, always will have.  Some of you may think strolling through a cemetery and this past time quite macabre, whereas I find it fascinating.  I know some of you may share this 'hobby' of mine.  To walk amongst the dead,  gives me reverence for those who have lost their lives and inner tranquility.

Because our country (Australia) is relatively new (243 years) or thereabouts when Captain James Cook first landed declaring it Terra Nullius, we do not have the historic cemeteries of Europe, or indeed other countries.  Regardless, I never tire visiting or reading the loving words etched in stone.

The picture above also depicts the sparseness of the land, with the sugar cane (that is abundant in Queensland) and the picturesque mountains in the background, this is because as of 2011 there were 1733 people living in this small town of Mossman, so to put it politely, they have space.

As I strolled from site to site, I noticed vases with plastic flowers that had been blown or knocked from the grave. I tended to these, I could not walk past without doing so. I refilled any rocks or pebbles that had been spilt out of the vases and arranged the flowers or ornaments back on the grave as they were intended. On some sites, I would say a few words to those that lay beneath and wonder about the families that have either passed away, moved town or do not care to pay homage any longer.

When we were away, Mr. S played a round of Golf, I on the other hand wanted to visit the small cemetery.

The oldest grave was 1938, the majority of them were in the 1960's to current. I took the one below because they were a Czech couple (my Pop/dad) is Czech. They both escaped the War as he did, I stood and thought of him when I read this.

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When I was in the UK I remember visiting Highgate:-    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highgate_Cemetery

Some graves, yes admittedly have brought a tear to my eye, especially when I see the graves of little ones,  but as I read the words (some barely visible) I am transported back to their time and stand absorbed and pensive, thinking of who they were and what their life was like before they passed.

At Highgate there are approximately 170,000 buried.  Some of the people laid to rest here include, the parents of Author Charles Dickens and some of his family. Jean Simmons the actress , Karl Marx, poets, painters, soldiers and more.  Below is one of graves with a fallen Angel.  Who lies beneath her I wonder?

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Also in the UK, we visited Grasmere in Cumbria and saw the grave (below) of William Wordsworth the poet.

http://www.poetsgraves.co.uk/wordsworth.htm

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When we visited France in 2001,  my daughters and I went to Pere Lachasie Cemetery

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Père_Lachaise_Cemetery .

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Here lies Sarah Bernhardt, Frederick Chopin, Isadora Duncan, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison to name a few.

Which brings me to my last photo taken at Mossman Cemetry.

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and I am lain beneath hard earth
I feel no pain, nor cold or heat of sun
I hear no voices, or hear the distant waves
nor view the sparkle in your eyes

and those that witness where I lay
my name revealed to you and how I passed
spare a thought for me, for I once
stood above this earth as you

and if my name's invisible
please stand and honour me as my loved
ones have moved on and leave an
unmarked cross, to show that I once breathed

Perhaps this is why I feel I have the calling to be a funeral celebrant. Maybe my love of walking around cemeteries has something to do with this(in a Freud type of way) Do you walk around Cemeteries like I?

not long now – Visdare # 30

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http://www.indetails.com/1221/black-and-white-photography/

Andrew sat patiently, the morning sun, escaping from the clouds. He closed his eyes smirking slightly, drifting off to the sounds of the city coming to life beneath him.

Camera set, hands resting, the hustle and bustle of a new day began with car horns and cabs and people walking excitedly down the pavements.

He received a few upward glances, people pointing and scratching heads at his prime position. Not often (if at all) would they encounter someone perched on top of the lion at Nelson’s Column, except of course for the pigeons and the occasional seagull.

He was ready, the day had come. Not a better vantage point could be found.

Soon they would drive by and he would get the photo of the decade for the newspaper he had worked for,  for 6 years.

With the headline “It’s a Boy”.

Surely that’s worth a promotion.

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In light of the recent event in the UK and the birth of Prince George – I thought I would ‘go with the flow’ with this pic from VisDare this week.   Anonymous Legacy  Please join in the fun 150 words or less. VisDare 30: Basking

When prank calls go horribly wrong.

Unfortunately this post is dedicated to my fellow Australians (not all of them just 2).

Two DJ’s that work on a radio station in Sydney who decided for a bit of fun and merriment (and also to possibly make a name for themselves), by doing something so stupid that I for one,  as I am sure many around the globe (and indeed Australia) are not proud of.

A nurse duped by a prank phone call at the hospital treating the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge has died in a suspected suicide.

The deceased who has worked at the hospital for four years, was found dead at an address near King Edward VII’s hospital in London on Friday morning.

The hospital confirmed she had been the victim of a hoax call in which two Australian DJs, pretending to be the Queen and Prince of Wales, phoned up about Kate.

I hope that these two feel, that by their actions they have caused this tragic event to occur. Like many people in the public media words, comments, interviews can go beyond the reach of being funny. This certainly was the case for these 2 dim-wits to get it so terribly wrong.

The  DJs, broadcast their call to the hospital on Wednesday morning.

The female, impersonating the Queen, asked to speak to her “granddaughter Catherine” and managed to persuade the nurse to put her through to the ward where Kate was being treated.

The security breach was deeply embarrassing for the hospital, which is the medical institution of choice for the Royal Family.

The DJs apologised for the prank after an initial furore but later took to Twitter to brag of their success – calling it the “easiest prank call ever made”.

I wonder how much they will stock of their actions now when this poor woman who perhaps was suffering from depression took her life. Is it the youth of today? The Gen Y’s? Do they think they are not accountable for what they do, or what they say anymore?

I’m angry by what these Australians have done – we have a sense a humour and sometimes it is raw and unfiltered but obviously going on Twitter to brag about their prank call ..will have a completely different meaning to them now.

Hang your heads in shame the two of you.

My 100th Blog – 18th Century

Courtesy of Google and 123rf.com

I walk upon these cobblestone streets, the soles of my shoes thin & bare, but I do not complain for they protect me from the cold & damp & I step one foot in front of the other

Carriages drawn by horses pass my way, their heads held high exhaling steam from open nostrils with reins held tight, they hold their strength to pass with clacking sound of hooves upon the street

& splash my rustling skirt and petticoat which touch upon muddied brick

Houses either side of me, old & decaying with heavy latched doors that are weathered from the seasons & light from oil lamps glow through windows & fireplaces give warmth to those within

They are the most blessed, for there is laughter in these times

Skivvy my occupation, though the coins I receive are little

I cannot take place in my masters fine home & talk of worldly matters

For he is of upper class & I am but his servant & should be gracious for being so

But I walk the cobbled streets of London & dream of a life where I can speak

My brother works in coal mine, he’s young, 10 of age his face & soul are blackened by his daily work, an infant in my eyes

But he shows no annoyance for doing so & is glad of the penny he receives for his toil

My sister sells her body to men to feed her child so young, I wish her life like mine

It’s dark & cold this night of nights as I step one foot in front of the other

My dress is wet & muddied from dirt off bricks, muddied like my heart & the cold night air chills me to my bone

But I wear the shawl my master gave me & draw it closer for the warmth

My master he wears fine breeches & white stockings with buckled shoes so grand

In my bag a kerchief, that my mother now gone, gave me, it’s white with lace on border

I walk the cobblestones in cold of night & step one foot in front of the other

I dream of another existence where I am free to talk of life & what I wish to be

But I know that I cannot, I can only dream, I am a young woman… there is no future for me

A girl of 15, alone without a family by my side, so I walk these dark and narrow cobbled streets & show no fear of the darkness that surrounds me, the bodies that lay still & silent from starvation

Though I cannot voice my words, I hold my head with pride that yes I am but a skivvy to such a nobleman

Who provides the shelter & roof & a coin to line my threadbare purse, I won’t complain

My life may change one day of that I dream & pray, but for now I walk these cobbled streets & have hope that things will change

I live as the privileged do & I should not find cause to object, I must give praise for the life I live & have a place where I can rest… a home

But for now & for the future, I walk along these cobbled streets, upon the rank and murky ground & I am so very alone