Antenna (antennapedia) wrote,

Put this on your lists. Now. Trust me!

Highgate Cemetery tour. Next time you're in London. Do it.

Our tour guide was a goth self-described cemetery nerd with dyed hair and a huge gold thing dangling from one ear. He talked about Hammer horror films and advertising on monuments, and Julius Beer's final finger to Victorian society. And he gave us a view into one of the mausoleums by sticking a camera phone up to one of the little holes in the doors. Corpse lights and stench. Faux Egyptian styling. Marble and granite and mold and ivy run wild. Fabulous.

I looked for the Forsyte family vault, but alas, it was fictional. Here's Galsworthy, in 1920:
Three days later, in that fast-yellowing October, Soames took a taxi-cab to Highgate Cemetery and mounted through its white forest to the Forsyte vault. Close to the cedar, above catacombs and columbaria, tall, ugly, and individual, it looked like an apex of the competitive system. He could remember a discussion wherein Swithin had advocated the addition to its face of the pheasant proper. The proposal had been rejected in favour of a wreath in stone, above the stark words: "The family vault of Jolyon Forsyte: 1850." It was in good order. All trace of the recent interment had been removed, and its sober grey gloomed reposefully in the sunshine. The whole family lay there now, except old Jolyon's wife, who had gone back under a contract to her own family vault in Suffolk; old Jolyon himself lying at Robin Hill; and Susan Hayman, cremated so that none knew where she might be. Soames gazed at it with satisfaction--massive, needing little attention; and this was important, for he was well aware that no one would attend to it when he himself was gone, and he would have to be looking out for lodgings soon. He might have twenty years before him, but one never knew.
Tags: vacation
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