Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Tales of the Cemetery

Posted by jonathanfryer on Friday, 6th April, 2007

brompton-cemetery.jpgAfter lunch at Masala Zone in Earl’s Court, my dearest friend, the octogenarian novelist Francis King, and I ambled down Earl’s Court Road in the sunshine. When I lived in the area, more than 20 years ago, there used to be a wonderful secondhand bookshop in the street. Then later, a large Waterstone’s opened. But today, neither is left. The latter has been turned into a Marks and Spencer’s Simply Food. It seems people are more concerned about feeding their stomachs than their minds these days. I know one can get almost any book on earth through the internet, but it isn’t the same as browsing through bookshelves, both ancient and modern, stumbling across something you didn’t know you wanted until you’d handled it.

Our trail took us through Brompton Cemetery, where the bluebells were wilting in the unaccustomed warmth, but people of all ages and all genders were sunning themselves on the benches and on the edges of the collonaded catacombs. I used to walk through the cemetery almost every day when I lived in Eardley Crescent, as at the time I belonged to a gym just off the Fulham Road, on the other side. Odd that I should move to live adjacent to another cemetery: Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, which, as its rebranding suggests, is an amenity for dog-walkers, families and nature-buffs, rather than a mere burial ground.

Personally, when I die I want to be cremated the cheapest way possible, in a cardboard box, then my ashes can be thrown to the wind. Dust to dust. Let’s save the glitter for Life.

Links: www.royalparks.gov.uk/parks/brompton_cemetery and http://www.towerhamletscemetery.org

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