Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Widow Radomski's bouquet

graveside flowers (almost)

This morning I took Buddy out for a stroll in the nearby cemetery. The grass was so high the tombstones were barely visible in some places. There were yellow meadow flowers in bloom (I'll go back with a camera later if I get a chance UPDATED - I did!)) and it was lovely in a sad kind of way. I started to sing "Where have all the graveyards gone? Gone to flowers every one. When will they ever learn (to mow)."


We ran into a woman who was there to tend the grave and she said, quite unprompted, "It's disgraceful, isn't it?"

Now, I'm not much one for chit chat in the cemetery, because those conversations never end on a particularly joyous note. But I agreed and asked which plot was hers. She pointed out what I presume must have been her husband's grave. It was a bit overgrown, but not as bad as some of the other graves. She told me that she'd brought flowers to put on his grave and I asked her if they were from her garden and told her how lovely the bouquet was (see I was trying to bring it back to a happy note).

She then gave the bouquet to me. I refused, of course. But she said the grave was in such bad shape that she'd rather I enjoyed them at my house than leave them amidst the untidiness. And she misted up, visibly upset, and on her way to complain to the cemetery office and Lambeth council.

I left the cemetery, clutching the flowers and trying not to look like a grave robber. (But really there's no other way to look when you leave a graveyard with a bouquet in hand).


"John Galt" said...

Is tending the cemetery a council responsibility or is there some sort of ongoing trust (like here) that should be doing it?

Vol Abroad said...

In this case, it's the council's responsibility. I'm not sure how they manage their funds. For example, do funds all go in the central pot to be disbursed back in the usual way or are all cemetery revenues held for cemetery maintenance.

They do seem to have entered into a contract with a private sector cemetery company which appears to have been a bad deal - so maybe that's sucked up all their money?

My council maintains their cemeteries very well (it just so happens that -oddly - it's a neighbouring borough who owns this one)

Alonna said...

Wow.. Really a awesome bouquet.