Archive for the ‘cemeteries’ Tag

Fill a 6-foot-deep hole with 2 parts gin, 1 part lemon juice, 1 part simple syrup…   1 comment

At cocktail bars, I’m ridiculed by bartenders when I order something old-style like a Manhattan or a Side-Car.  But, going by the evidence in the Ruislip Cemetery, the Tom Collins is quite literally dead.  R.I.P.

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Posted August 18, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Booze, Obits, Recipes

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Nunhead Cemetery   3 comments

 

As we approached Nunhead Cemetery, a horse drawn hearse crossed our paths and I removed my hat.  I wasn’t going to photograph the departed out of respect (the same reason I haven’t shot any disturbing images — although I have plenty of opportunity — of the crime scene that is Grenfell Tower).  But, the departed had already departed and I scrambled to prep the camera but was only able to squeeze off one sad image before it hid behind the line of parked cars.

 

 

Nunhead Cemetery is the 3rd of the Magnificent Seven Cemeteries we’ve visited after Highgate (West and East, distinctly different experiences) and Kensal Green.  It is the largest of the seven and so far the least impressively populated but no less interesting a walk and impossible to take in one go.  Here’s the photos of today’s initial fly-by.

 

 

Just inside the gate and to the right we spotted the Scottish Martyrs Memorial:

 

 

The plaque doesn’t really do justice to how harshly their pleas for reform were dealt with.  The link has a list of their fates which include hanged, burned, hanged and burned, and simply executed or assassinated.  Some were also “insulted.”

 

 

And, all for speaking sense…words relevant even today.

 

 

Also at the entrance and straight ahead, there’s the ruins of a grand chapel damaged by arson ages ago but shored up to use for musical events and, currently, an open air art exhibit.

 

 

On our walk past the Martyrs’ obelisk we looped around by the chapel,

 

 

and passed one of the few residents I’d ever heard of, Jenny Hill:

 

 

The cemetery had been allowed to fall into disrepair and was eventually sold for £1 to a fellow who set about making as much of it safe to visit as possible.  Parts were still being used to inter newcomers, but much of it was subject to subsidence of the tombs and encroachment of the forest.

 

 

 

 

This column seems to be missing a cross.

 

 

An anchor in the left hand, the right might have had a sword or could just be imploring the heavens.

 

The white marble monuments have decayed quite a bit:

 

 

While the pink ones look almost brand new:

 

 

This one was just for me and other fans of “Tater Tomater.”

“Women with har have to wear a Harnott.”

 

 

This was the first of several markers we found with this particular bathroom tile set in it:

 

 

And, this one was recently painted bright green (at the foot you can just make out an errant brushstroke colouring outside the lines):

 

And, down a path into the overgrowth (one of hundreds) strewn with dozens of these small markers someone put up a garden border to house, I suppose, an ancestors’ rock along with coins to pay the ferryman:

 

 

My favourite find of the day was this stone with a cart spring on it and the inscription, “The Spring of Life is Broken.”

 

 

Jackie’s favourite was this pre-tranny tablet describing someone “Who Lived And Died A Man.”

 

 

Some of the better, individual war memorials I’ve come across were here, as well.  It took a moment to realise that our Bobbie died back home of wounds incurred at the Somme:

 

 

And, Royal Navy colleagues added this anchor to the grave of Reg Bult.  His family’s stone, behind, becomes a bit more poignant by his comrades’ addition:

 

 

In the midst of a massive, multipanel WWII memorial, civilian casualties are also recorded:

 

 

 

Overgrown as it is, the cemetery is something of a nature preserve that includes an educational tree trail:

 

 

And, many of the graves are unapproachable (like those in this patch of nettles):

 

 

This tomb was completely devoured by a massive trunk:

 

 

And, the vines on this one form some sort of dreadlocks:

 

 

Without irony, this one has vegetation carved into it:

 

 

And, some of the monuments are as simple as they can get.

 

The wooden crosses take quite a bit more care as they are impermanent.  Still, this one has managed 55 years so far:

 

 

More grand ones are also around.  This one for the shipbuilder, John Allan, has some spectacular lion heads on it:

 

 

And, this one to the type maker (punch cutting was the 18th century equivalent of font design) Vincent Figgins is understated but grand:

 

 

I didn’t want to disturb the artist by crowding over her shoulder so I only got some pretty photos of this one:

 

 

 

This depiction of the life and death of the sculptor Frederick Schroeter (accompanied by wife, Frederica, on two sides of the plinth) was down a path where a massive tree had fallen a few minutes earlier (unstable ground).  We opted to examine this one closely and wait to see if others would drop:

 

 

 

 

And, some of the best ones are the simplest (rest well little Danny):

 

 

 

London A to Z Runs : P   9 comments

 

P is for Postboxes: Edward VIII postboxes to be specific (something of an obsession with me) and, fortunately for this run there are more in London than anywhere else in the country.  I haven’t contacted these people (Letter Box Study Group) but it is good to know (I keep telling myself) that I’m not the only postbox obsessive in this country (and bear in mind that the leader of the Labour Party is a manhole cover enthusiast).

 

 

 

And, so it came to pass that this episode of the A to Z runs took me to East Finchley Station (above), to start ticking off these rare trophies.  Just out of the station, I thought I encountered a crossing of the the London LOOP but on inspection found that it is the Capital Ring Trail (and, I noted it for a future series):

 

 

The first was less than a quarter-mile from the station and I topped it with my 2009 England Cricket cap.  This one seems to have endured some welding repairs over the years:

 

 

A gentle hill rise took me into Finchley where the Pardes House School caught my attention and, by stopping to photograph the grand building, I caught the attention of several congregants either there as parents, teachers, or maybe just awaiting Shabbat.  I must have appeared harmless enough, though.

 

 

I had already stopped at the Old White Lion by this time and had targeted this neighbourhood for my second pub stop.  To be fair, I lost my dignity ages ago and regularly discard what little grows back.  But, the pub called Dignity is now a chicken place so no one here can claim to have Dignity anymore.  I had to settle for a place called the Catcher in the Rye.

 

 

There is also a claim that there is an Edward VIII pillar box outside Mill Hill East Station (visited on the N for Northern Line run).  This is blatantly untrue and has been so for quite some time.  The ancient Betty II box is in need of paint and has obviously been repainted several times before.  It’s as if you can’t trust anything you read on the Interwebs, anymore.  Disappointed, but with one more within the region I printed maps for I continued on.

 

 

In the Deep South, most people pronounce my hometown, Atlanta, as “Aa-Lannah,” but there are a few, especially around Macon, Georgia, that call it “Lanta.”  With no one around to ask about this place, I leave it to you to research (but heed my Interwebs warning).  And, if you want to practice a North Central Georgia (USA) accent, you could do worse than starting with this little article I published a few years back.

 

 

There were several grand looking cemeteries on the route but the Hendon Crematorium was pretty tantalizing:

 

 

After a pub stop at the Greyhound, I finally closed out the postbox hunt with this well-maintained example on Elliot Road:

 

 

The plan had been for 3 E-VIII-R boxes and 3 pubs but with one bogus box I had to make up the difference with an extra pub stop (damn the luck!) at the Hendon before heading home.  Hendon Central Station was the official finish:

 

 

 

 

 

One Crown, Watford, Middlesex   1 comment

One Crown Watford

 

We went to Watford in search of storage solutions (shelf extenders, drawers to fit in cabinets, etc) then grabbed some lunch at an Italian place (Pepe Rosso) after some cemetery exploration whilst hunting non-chain food choices. Pepe Rosso was pretty good and reasonably priced (would have been even more so if we had known you can bring your own wine), and as it was early we decided to round off lunch with a round at the One Crown on the way to the train station.

 

 

Watford St Marys Graveyard George Edward Doney

 

It claims to be the oldest licensed pub in town and it has all the atmosphere you’d expect from a 16th century alehouse: close ceilings held up by heavy timbers, a simple single bar in an in-the-round layout. It was a bit dark inside so we took our drinks (wine and cider at a reasonable rate, no ales available) to the garden.

 

One Crown Watford bar

 

The garden has seen better days, but it was comfortable enough to sit in and watch the weather degrade. Definitely not for the posh, this space made me feel incredibly comfortable. Jackie pointed out its similarities to Talitha’s house in Atlanta and it soon reminded both of us of a dozen other bars and personal back yards from back in the day (back in the Olden Times, as the kids seem to say about anything before 2009).

 

One Crown Watford party time

Posted September 5, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Cafe in the Crypt, under St Martin in the Fields, London   1 comment

Cafe in the Crypt

In the second week of 2015 I find that the 2014 Chippy Challenge will not die quietly.  Only 6 days after the most recent entry (and nine into the year), total has risen to 128 with the addition of yet another at London’s St Martin in the Fields.

You may know SMitF as a music venue with recordings and radio broadcasts of classical music, or you might recognise that it is a proper church with services and a history of theft and oppression (and a modern ethos of outreach to the homeless that includes never shutting its doors), and museum quality sculpture and paintings.

But, if upon entering turn left and take the door ahead of you to a staircase down the basement and you’ll find a very good and enormously popular (and cheap for this part of London) cafeteria where you can get a pot of tea or a beer or a full meal then eat it whilst sitting on the graves of monks from the depths of history. [St Martin’s other cemeteries are scattered around the neighbourhood which house permanent residents like Robert Boyle, Thomas Chippendale, and Nell Gwynne.]

Cafe in the Crypt fish and chips

We had tickets for 2 o’clock entrance to an exhibit called “Anarchy and Beauty: William Morris and His Legacy” and were going to stop in for the free lunchtime recital at St Martin’s but our coach trip hit traffic and we missed the start by about ten minutes (bugger).  Peckish, we headed downstairs to the Bedlam of the Cafe.  Jackie just wanted soup and a salad but the parsnip soup put her off so we both had the Friday special of fish and chips.  Delicious, but I remember why we avoid the place weekdays between noon and 2: the lunch crowd is enormous and we wandered with our trays five minutes before we begged a couple of seats with an old woman sitting alone (and when she left we were almost immediately joined by two more, then two others claimed our seats before we even stood to leave).

(Note: this post is a continuation of the 2014 Chippy Challenge, with all related entries linked to this map)