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Walking Blog - Day 7

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It's not simply the seventh day I've blogged, or walked, for that matter: it's just the seventh day that I've had pictures to post from a walk I've taken - if that makes sense!

This morning the sun was shining, and early on there wasn't a cloud in the sky, tho by 10 or so there were a few puffy ones here and there. Today is one of our grocery days (we go every two or three days so we can keep ahead of the fresh produce) and as we were on our way to town, Himself said 'If you want, I'll get the groceries and you can visit George. I can pick you up when I'm done.'

'Visit George' is our shorthand for walking around the cemetery. George Formby was an entertainer in the English music hall tradition (his father had been such an entertainer as well). He got his start in the 1920s and continued performing until his death in the early '60s. Some of his songs are quite amusing, and he sang in a funny voice, exaggerating his northwest-England accent. At any rate, he ended up in the local cemetery - perhaps the only really famous person buried there - so when we walk in the cemetery, we 'visit George.'

It's a nice marble monument, put up apparently by his mother, who outlived him by some 30 years or more:

George also made some movies, and was on television as well as stage - he did some Royal Variety Performances, for example, and was awarded an OBE, so he was pretty popular in his day. I think of him as a cross between Rudy Vallee and Red Skelton. I found this picture on the 'net:

If you ever have a chance to listen to some of his songs, you might get a laugh. Some of them really are comical.

The bluebells have gone wild in the cemetery. There were several crews working there today, trimming and cleaning up, but they seemed to try to leave the bluebells as much as possible. I don't know if the white and pink ones are technically 'bluebells,' or are the flowers known as 'harebells.'

There's a pretty little chapel there, tho not as nice as the one in the Sale cemetery (the one we went to the other day). There's a fountain beside it; I didn't get a picture of the chapel, but the fountain - which had not been in good repair several years ago - was working today and had flowers around it:

I'm always mindful that walking around a cemetery is walking around someone's grief - even those who are long gone were (presumably) mourned by someone. This cemetery has a little area set aside near the chapel - it's called The Forget-Me-Not Baby Garden. It is probably the saddest place in the whole graveyard, to me at least, but the loving care lavished on these tiny graves of the stillborn and infants who had such short lives is so touching - pinwheels, stuffed animals, lanterns, and so many flowers:

There were small toys here and there, that put me in mind of the little cars Jeannie photographed the other day. Mostly when I walk in this section I count my blessings - my son is 29, my daughter is 27, and I know how very lucky I am to have them.

In Britain Veterans' Day - Armistice Day - is very special. There is a service held the Saturday before 11 November, in the Royal Albert Hall: the Queen and other members of the royal family are in attendance. On Sunday, there is a commemorative service and a big parade at the Cenotaph in London - again with the Queen in attendance - and poppy wreaths are presented by dignitaries, government officials, representatives from other countries, and by the various military and veterans' organizations. It is - for lack of a better way to explain it - A Very Big Deal. On 11 November at 11 AM, every store, school, office, hospital - every public place - pauses for two minutes of silence. You will read that it was moved to the Sunday nearest 11 November, but I can attest that the two minutes' silence happens at 11 AM on 11 / 11.

At any rate, every little village and hamlet, every town, every city, has one or more 'cenotaphs': monuments dedicated to those who died in The Great War. Some of these are at cross-roads, or near parish churches. Often they are in local cemeteries. Eventually, sadly, more names from other wars were added. Many places have a different monument altogether for those from World War II and so on. In the local cemetery, the graves of a number of local 'lads' who died in the First World War are set into a special small cemetery of their own, with a monument that is decorated with poppy wreaths every November. This area is very neat and carefully tended, with beautiful flowers:

Another place that reminds me to count my many blessings, even as I enjoy the solitude and tranquility.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you for allowing me to walk with you through such a lovely, quiet place of solitude and beauty thru your pictures and words. I can see why you would like to be an editor because you love to write. I love to walk thru cemeteries too for the very reason you do.
    3923 days ago
    I guess if I had read this blog first I would have answered my own question left on today's (May 31) blog. Beautiful pictures.

    emoticon for sharing.

    emoticon I love smiley faces! They make me happy.
    3931 days ago
    Thank you for walking me through this very special place and telling a bit abour it's 'story'.

    Hugs, Sunny
    3932 days ago
    Your writing is so beautiful Kasey - you make us feel not only your emotions but the sense of place and the emotions there. You conveyed the national day of mourning and respect that they had for those soldiers which amplified the images of the neatly maintained graves. You conveyed the grief of the saddest part of the cemetery - the image captured the longing that the parents had with the placement of the toys.

    In each case you made me realize - our children are blessings - cherish them. The USA thinks of Memorial Day as a BBQ day off from work. We need to focus on our own gratefulness for those who died so we may be free.

    Nice of Himself to encourage you to visit George. So glad you shared.
    3935 days ago
  • REJ7777
    You've found a lovely place to take peaceful, serene walks. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures and for reminding me to be grateful for my own blessings!
    3935 days ago
    What a beautiful blog, Kasey. Thank you for taking the time to share it with us. I love cemeteries - the older the better. And I always end up crying at something in them. Your cemetery here is beautiful and so well kept up. I've been absent so long from everyone's blogs that I have to go back and catch up. So glad you are well and out and about.

    3935 days ago
    What a beautiful place to walk (and to remember those blessings!) emoticon

    3938 days ago
    What a beautiful walk you had!! Give Himself a SparkTurtle Hug for me for letting you (ok, suggesting!) that you Visit George. I enjoyed your walk so much.
    emoticon emoticon
    3944 days ago
    I just love the beautiful landscape in this cemetery! It is peaceful and serene! It makes me feel like I have just visited you and you are showing me around! This is a very beautiful country! emoticon emoticon emoticon for letting us see your world! emoticon emoticon
    3944 days ago
    I think I shall go try to find George on the net.. and listen to his music! Do you listen to irish ballads? Like.. Paddy MaGinty's Goat... if not, take a listen! I love this entire record...
    3944 days ago
    What a nice visit with your photos and narrative today! Thank you for sharing.


    3944 days ago
    Lovely as always. Read a bit to Himself and showed him the pics - of course he focused right on the Bluebells! Nope, the white and pinks aren't called bluebells. He doesn't remember what they are called.

    Love your writing style and the way you take us on your walk with you. Thank you my friend for such a lovely walk! Wish I was there to walk it with you!

    3944 days ago
    Hi there - a great pictorial and informative blog. I'll think of it 'when I'm cleaning windows'. (LOL)

    I absolutely love cemeteries too (strange, I know) but their tranquility and peace is tangible and makes you reflective in a way that doesn't seem possible in other environments. I visit them when I'm abroad too; each region in Europe has its own character, whether it's the family and personal 'vaults' in the Parisian cemeteries or the stacked 'quarters' in the 'casa blanca' villages of Andalucia. All are interesting and well worth a visit.

    3944 days ago
    I enjoyed going on the walk with you! Wish I got the exercise too!!
    3944 days ago
    emoticon for sharing your walk with us. No wonder you walk in cemeteries, they are beautiful with all the flowers and gardens! I loved the bluebells, well, all of the flower photos. Cemeteries are rich in history, too. It makes you wonder what those people's lives were like...the baby cemetery is especially sad...all of those parents' hopes and dreams. It does make you count your blessings!

    You have a great hubby to offer to do the shopping so you can "visit George"...so supportive of you. I guess you'll keep him, huh?

    Thanks for another merry little walk in England...
    3945 days ago
    Wonderful blog and loved the pictures. Really gives me a feel for small town English living---if only our cemetaries were sooo well tended.
    3945 days ago
    Thank you for the beautiful visit to England. The Brits really know how to grow their flowers and their weather is so good for them. Not like here where it is so hot and humid and everything has to be watered. It's hot today. I loved the pics and can't wait to go back and visit.
    3945 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5080021
    Loved the blog and the pictures. A couple of years ago, we visited the cemetary at Gettysburg. There is something serene about walking around them.

    Thanks for the insight of where you live.
    3945 days ago
  • SROUS1340
    Kasy that was beautiful, I love cemetaries too, especially the old ones. Where exactly do you live? I've been to London and the South to Cornwall, but never in the north. I'll look it up and add it to my general knowledge. Besides then I'll know where to find you when you aren't sparkin.
    3945 days ago
  • no profile photo THIAGRAM
    I really enjoyed your blog today! I appreciate what you said about 11:00-11/11
    ............................................................................That was me thinking!

    I put George Formby in Pandora so at the moment I'm listening to Levi's Monkey Mike! Sounds great! I could exercise to this! My grandkids interrupted me so I didn't get to hear all the words. But I enjoyed what I heard. Now I'm listening to "With My Little Stick of Blackpool Rock" Thanks! I enjoyed your blog!
    3945 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/18/2010 3:25:24 PM
    Lovely blog...thank you! emoticon
    3945 days ago
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