by Sheldon (and Christina…..a little bit)
And so we close another year of intrepid Cemetery exploration. It’s been a busy year which has seen a lot of positive things happen – myself becoming a qualified tour guide and Christina running a Craft fair as well as the marathon itself. What’s both struck us is the response the blog has received this year. We now have a steady readership and we like to think people enjoy reading about gallivanting around the City of London Cemetery or reading about the loss of an online diary network.
It’s got to the stage where people are connecting us with the blog – I’ve lost count of the people who’ve met me and gone ‘oh, you’re the Cemetery guy!’ and so on. Especially with the links we’ve built with the many guides, cemeteries and people who’ve come on the tours, we both feel the ‘brand’ is achieving what we want it to: to celebrate these wonderful places of the dead.
As Christmas comes with its tidings of goodwill, both me and Christina have sat down to see where the blog can go next. We have many exciting things planned in the New Year but also, need a bit of time to get things ready and more importantly, recharge our batteries. For the time being I’d like to do a few more cartoons and non-cemetery related walks, and Christina has a career to focus on.
That’s not to say the blog is dead – it’s not! But we’ve both agreed we need to step back for a while and work on the next stage of Cemetery Club without worrying about making sure a post is ready every week – quality rather than quantity is one of the lessons we’ve learnt this year.
We’ve been on some wonderful and often surprising Cemetery Club visits this year, both separately and together – in London and further afield. Here’s a round up of our favourites from 2014:-
In October, we trekked up to East London/Essex to visit the Muslim Gardens of Peace in Ilford, and see a type of resting place that vastly differed from our Victorian forebears and their grand/intricate stonework. The Gardens of Peace were just what the name describes – beautiful, simple and tranquil.
Sheldon and his cousin Nick, together with camera, visited the City of London Cemetery in July, and took some haunting photographs.
Christina drove Route 66 in September, and in the deserts of New Mexico she came across Fort Sumner, home to the final resting place of Billy the Kid.
In June, Sheldon, fresh from his Tour Guiding course and with a new qualification under his belt, gave a spectacular tour of Brompton for the first time. The sun shone down as Sheldon, perhaps slightly overdressed in a shirt and tie, shed any nerves he might have had at the start of the day and gave a confident, relaxed and informative tour of the first Magnificent 7 cemetery we ever visited as a twosome.
We dedicated August to remembering those who fought and died during WW1, and Christina went to visit the Poppies at the Tower of London right at the start of their residency there – and found a war memorial across the road that she didn’t know existed…
January saw us discover the grisly fate of famed author Laurence Sterne…
We wish all our readers a very merry festive season and a successful 2015, where we shall rejoin you in our mission to demystify these repositories of the dead.
Photograph of Christina and Rainbow by Laura Pursey 2014