Visiting Graves…….Earth’s Core…….The Ness – again…..

by Bernie Bell - 09:44 on 09 August 2022

Bartholomew Barker has been visiting the graves of favoured poets  - Allen Ginsberg and William Carlos Williams...... https://bartbarkerpoet.com/2022/08/08/the-grave-of-william-carlos-williams/ and this got me thinking – whose grave would I want to visit?   I realised that the only graves I am inclined to visit are those of family and friends.

Here’s a story….

When my Dad died the family asked me to design his headstone – which I did. A simple slab of granite with the words ‘In dying we are born to eternal life’ carved into it.  It’s from the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi….. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_of_Saint_Francis

I was living in Wales, the family were - and are - in Ireland so I posted a drawing to my cousin who was organizing the headstone.  When I next went to Ireland I visited Dad’s grave - to find that it had carved on it ‘In dying we are born to eternal rest’ – a very different concept! 

I asked my cousin about it, who said that the bloke carving the head-stone had lost the bit of paper – thought that was near enough, and a nice idea - so went ahead.

I wasn’t too pleased, then I thought – well, it’s a very Irish thing to happen – and the family didn’t seem to mind so – there you go. 

That grave now also holds my brother and my Mum, and has the ashes of one of my sisters scattered on it – all under a very different thought than I’d meant it to be! 

A few years ago a relative from America visited the church and graveyard of the Parish that his ancestors came from, and emailed me to say that he was having trouble finding the head-stones of people that he knew must be there as he’d found them in the Parish records. I reminded him that poor people often couldn’t afford head-stones so they had wooden grave-markers which rotted away, so it wasn’t surprising that he couldn’t find some people as our family were poor, which was why so many of them went to America in the first place….. ‘When the shadow of poverty darkened our door, we left Mother and Ireland because we were poor.”

He had a good visit anyway and tracked down many of the places and people he’d heard about but never seen.

I did visit W.B. Yeats’ grave - that was because the person I was with at the time wanted to, so we went to Drumcliffe churchyard and stood by Yeats’s grave - and I very much doubted if Mr Yeats believed that any grave would hold him.

I’d rather read his words – that’s him – they hold him…… https://theorkneynews.scot/2022/02/11/lake-isle-of-innisfree/


What’s at the centre of the earth?  It’s something that people have wondered about for a long time, from ancient myths and legends…..  https://www.ancient-origins.net/unexplained-phenomena/ancestral-myth-hollow-earth-and-underground-civilizations-004094  through to Jules Verne’s ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’.... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journey_to_the_Center_of_the_Earth which led to one of the first Sci-fi movies on that theme… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journey_to_the_Center_of_the_Earth_(1959_film) followed by many, many more - including ‘At the Earths’ Core’ from the book of that name by Edgar Rice Burroughs …. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At_the_Earth%27s_Core_(film)

And now  - here’s Steve Drury’s factual explanation…… https://earthlogs.org/2022/08/08/late-formation-of-the-earths-inner-core/

Enjoy the books, enjoy the films, but consider the science.


Did the occupation of the Ness of  Brodgar begin with wooden buildings?  https://www.nessofbrodgar.co.uk/dig-diary-a-timber-building-beneath-structure-five/

They’ve got ten days of this year’s excavation to go and they’re finding potentially ground-breaking ( the pun is intended) evidence.  And they also have to try to assess what has been discovered so far.  Wish them luck and…maybe donate?


Apparently - this is National Book Lovers Day - not entirely clear for which nation - but I thought I'd put in my tuppenceworth.....



And here’s one Mike made earlier……  https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/08/13/no-lady-a-short-story/



Comment from Bartholomew Barker at 14:41 on 09 August 2022.
I love visiting cemeteries in general and I enjoy visiting "famous" graves. I've been to most of the Presidential graves here in the States and I've been over 50 of my direct ancestors' graves. One them was buried in the same Dumfries churchyard as Robert Burns. Of course my ancestor was poor and no marker survived but Burns' tomb is quite nice.
Comment from Bernie Bell at 16:59 on 09 August 2022.
My Dad used to say that a cemetery was one place you wouldn’t find people arguing, and he was right.

I have a friend who lives in London who was telling me of an old cemetery that she likes to go to. Due to cuts to maintenance parts of it are left to become wild – there’s a bit of management by local people, but Sally says she can wander there on paths which are hard to find and it’s peaceful and full of ….life. She really feels like she’s somewhere else – out in the countryside. It’s called Ladywell and Brockley cemetery.

Something similar to Sally’s London ‘retreat’ – when we lived near Stroud, in Gloucestershire, we used to go for walks in a cemetery just down the hill from where we lived. It was on the edge of town - about 5 minutes’ walk would find you right it Stroud - but…..the cemetery was mostly silent, and full of wild life. It was a big, old one – had a Victorian structure in it with an arch in the middle so that carriages with coffins could pull in under the archway.
The most recent bit of it was kept tidy but, thank goodness – the older bits were just left. There were trees and flowers and long grasses and shrubs. It was a great place – we used to go for walks and sit on those ‘table’ sort-of grave markers to eat our sandwiches.

Cemeteries, as long as they’re not kept too tidy, can be lovely places – the one down the hill from us, by the Bay of Hinderayre, isn’t used any more. It’s lovely – like a garden, but a wild garden. It starts with snowdrops, then moves on to celandines and primroses, then bluebells, then in high summer, Orange hawkweed, Ox-eye daisies and campion. Also some saxifrage, here and there. We love it.

Peaceful places – and spaces for the Wild Things. These places are havens for wildlife - and for people like us and Sally.

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