Monday, 29 October 2012

Keep In!




When I was a child, I used to think that the railings round some graves were to keep the occupants in.



There are quite a few yew trees in the cemetery which isn’t unusual. They are a common sight in churchyards and graveyards. No one really knows why. Do they cleanse, purify and protect the dead? Who knows?



Well I think they’re yew – Common Yew or Irish Yew? I don’t know.

Everything feels muted in fog. I like it. I like the way it makes you feel isolated from the rest of the world.

I like to see the webs of spiders twinkly with moisture. Not so keen on the occupants though.



Some of my family are in this cemetery. I don’t think I’ll join them. 



No, I’m not hoping for immortality – I’m thinking more along the lines of the green cemetery out near the woods.

Hm, what sort of tree would I have planted on me? Well I’d like an oak and it would be kind of nice to have it grown from an acorn from the tree in my garden.

Apparently they will try to plant the tree of your choice, but ultimately the decision will be made by The Management.

Well now I have a picture of Ron and Ron – The Management - presiding over the burials!

As Miranda’s mum would say, “Such fun.”




32 comments:

  1. I thought the yews were planted to poison invading cows...? Teresa, even if you live to be very old indeed, if you want an oak tree on your grave, you'd better get planting NOW!

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    1. Well I'll be there a long time, Frances, so it'll have plenty of time to grow :-) x

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  2. I had to laugh at your idea of the railings around graves being to keep the occupants in. More likely they were there to keep grave robbers out. It's not only churchyards where you find yew trees - some very old houses have them by the front and back entrances, too. About 20 years ago, we almost bought a very interesting old house; Elizabethan with a Victorian extension at the rear. That had a yew tree right by the front entrance.

    I did find this information, which backs up what I already thought. I hope you find it interesting...

    " Some Yew trees were actually there before the church was built as the preacher often preached under a Yew tree if the village could not afford a church.

    In 1307 King Edward 1st ordered Yew trees to be planted in churchyards to offer some protection to the buildings. Traditionally a church has only two Yew trees – one on the gateway to the main door and the second on the path to the minor door.

    Yews are poisonous so by planting them in the churchyards cattle that were not allowed to graze on hallowed ground were safe from eating Yew.

    Yew was the traditional wood used for making long bows – planting in churchyards ensured availability in times of need.

    Yew branches on touching the ground take root and sprout again – this became the symbol of death, rebirth and therefore immortality."

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    1. That's very interesting, Jacula - thank you :-) x

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  3. Always interesting to read the gravestones and wonder what the people were like. Happy Halloweeeeeeen!

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    1. They are interesting aren't they. It is a shame so many are worn and damaged and can no longer be read x

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  4. I love your pictures and thoughts, Teresa. Graveyards are so beautiful in fog. Eerie, but elegant.

    The cobweb is a work of art. I had to research spiders and how they spin for my WIP and it's astounding how intricate and clever those webs are.

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    1. I do find webs fascinating, Joanna. And I am also fascinated by your WIP :-) x

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  5. I just love the spooky feelings that graveyards give me! And the 'what if' factor comes right to the fore of my mind! Great Pics Teresa!

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    1. Thanks, Pat. And I always zoom in and examine pictures I've taken in graveyards just in case I've captured a wandering spirit - well you never know ;-) x

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  6. Great, atmospheric photos, Teresa. Love the idea of keeping occupants in! I, too, like the idea of the green cemetary, although I don't know any near me. But I don't like the thought of being buried - just in case!

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    1. Yes, that is a worry, Rosemary - that "just in case!" x

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  7. Lovely pictures Teresa, especially the spider's web. I have one that spins its web in the top corner of the patio window and no matter how well I seem to clean the windows, it always comes back again. I think I'd like to be scattered somewhere, free as a bird so no-one feels obliged to visit and mourn.

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    1. I find it amazing how they rebuild their webs so quickly and efficiently, Maggie. I don't mind the outside ones so much - as long as they don't touch me! It's those huge things that prowl around indoors I really hate - the ones that chase you if you scream!

      I have some ashes and I just can't bear to scatter them so there are strict instructions that when I pop off, the ashes are go go where I go. Maybe I'll be scattered too - I really don't mind, but like you I don't want anyone to feel obliged to visit a particular place and mourn x

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  8. Lovely, thought provoking and truly quite spooky photos Teresa. Funny how we love the glistening webs but hate the spsiders eh? I think I want to be cremated - have always had a fear of being buried alive - I also just love Miranda and as you say, "Such fun!" :-)

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    1. I used to be terrified of being buried alive too, Deborah - I think it was after watching a Hammer Horror. The cremations I've been to haven't been as traumatic as funerals and I've never been to a green burial. I think whatever is easier for those left behind is best really, but I do like the idea of a woodland burial and second to that a cremation.

      Oh what a joyful subject!! Need a dose of Miranda now I think. I wish she'd make more x

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  9. Beautiful photos Teresa, I agree that it's best for family to remember us laughing and not have somewhere to cry too much.xx although I've found it a comfort over the years to visit Grandad and Grandma's grave, but I talk to them all the time anyway.xx

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    1. That's lovely, Sue - it is nice that it brings you comfort and that you still talk to them x

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  10. Graveyards look best in the fog, don't they?

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  11. Hi Teresa,

    Yew might think I'd try to make a play on words with your posting. That would be quite the undertaking and perhaps with grave consequences.

    I am fascinated by your eerie, atmospheric photos. And your choice of trees? Seems like the oak would be on you..Oh, I like you photo of the 'web site'....ignore me! :)

    Gary x

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    1. You always make me smile, Gary :-) x

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  12. Supulchral groan at Gary's post above!

    Thanks for this post, Teresa. It's reminded me of a real-life graveyard encounter at this time of year back when I was a teenager and I will add it to my list of short story working titles for my NaNoWriMo (not officially entering). Hopefully, you'll like it when it's written, since it has a dog in it. x

    Incidentally, the fields behind my Mum's house (not far from me) have just been sold for a green burial site. People all around have been up in arms about it, saying it will devalue the houses etc. My Mum - who has already scattered my Dad's and several dogs' ashes under the oak tree just outside her garden gate - can't see what all the fuss is about. 'At least the new neighbours will be quiet,' she says.

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    1. Your mum sounds lovely, Jacula.

      Good luck with NaNo - I did it "unofficially" a couple of years ago and once it was over, I never looked at what I'd written.

      I'm sure I'd love your dog story :-) And the graveyard encounter - intriguing :-) x

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  13. Love these eerie pictures! I think cemetaries are fascinating places and love reading the older headstones. I don't think we have a green cemetary over here though, I must check and find out.

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    1. I find them fascinating too. I have a photo somewhere of stones in a Suffolk cemetery from 1700s which have skulls carved into them - rather morbid, although I suppose it IS morbid!! x

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  14. Cemeteries and old churchyards have such an atmosphere of presence, especially when an eerie mist clings to the Yew trees and headstones.

    I once took some pictures of the tiny Croick churchyard in Strathcarron, Sutherland, in the Scottish Highlands.

    If the visitor looks very carefully he/she can still make out faint scratches on the east window of the Kirk. These messages bear testament to the tragic events in 1845 when local people, turned out of their turf dwellings, were forced to take shelter in the churchyard.

    The Highlands were being cleared of the poor families who eked meagre livings from the land to make way for the more profitable sheep.

    The headstones there still bear the names of those families.







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    1. How those people suffered, Rena - somewhere like the Croick churchyard must be so atmospheric and hauntingly sad x

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  15. I can feel a new post coming on for my expat blog! You know, Hindus cremate their dead, so when my late, beloved Father-in-law passed away a few years back, he was burned and there is something so awfully emotional about seeing a body going for cremation. My husband and his brothers had to collect the very bones and get them to the river Ganges for immersion. Women don't attend the cremation ceremonies, so I didn't see any of it.

    Your cemetery looks beautifully peaceful and not at all spooky. My dad is buried in a cemetary in Ireland which has only flat headstones and it has a peaceful atmosphere.

    I heard that there are some lovely British churchyards here in India, in the hills. I would love to visit them someday when I get a chance to go there.

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    1. Yes, Maria - do write a post about it, sounds absolutely fascinating (I find your blog posts very interesting) and I hope you get to visit those British churchyards x

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