8 March 2016

Yesterday

Wigber Low between Bradbourne and Kniveton in Derbyshire. Up here our ancestors brought their dead and left them as carrion for the birds and animals. I think that I should like to go out in that way - returning to The Earth. But would the authorities allow Shirley and the kids to drag my hefty carcass up this hill and leave it on the ancient limestone cairn close by? I guess they would have to keep it all secret, stuff me in the boot of a car and honour my request in the dead of night. A side benefit is that it would save on outrageous funeral costs but as they huffed and puffed up the hill I doubt that they would be humming funereal melodies from long ago. Instead they'd be complaining - "What the bloody hell did he want this for?". At dawn, the crows would already  be circling.
Anglo Saxon wire and glass bead pendants
found on Wigber Low and now displayed in The British
Museum. Only the two green ones were from Wigber
Low, the other was found near Dover in Kent
Yesterday - the funeral cairn on Wigber Low

31 comments:

  1. I just adore those pendants YP.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I shall buy you one for your birthday... but only if we win The Lottery.

      Delete
  2. I like your idea about death. I would like to be buried (unembalmed) with a tree planted on top of me. Then I could become a tree in my next life! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It would need to be a cabbage palm - South Carolina's state tree.

      Delete
    2. We call them Palmetto trees. And I think I'd rather become a Live Oak or else a stately Magnolia.

      Delete
  3. It could spark an interesting murder hunt...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Especially if you murdered me for ribbing you!

      Delete
  4. Actually, it seems you and John G are of a similar mind today, both musing on unconventional funerals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must go over and see what The Bard of Trelawnyd has typed today.

      Delete
  5. Alas, YP, I think things have changed since the last time our ancestors had a "casual discarding" of a body for the crows to fight over. Ten to one someone would see poor Shirley and the kids struggling ever upwards, and before they could say "Rest in peace" (or whatever) they would find themselves down the nick and awaiting her Majesty's pleasure. There's always a busy body around when you don't need one !
    With the price of funerals today, it's a good idea, but think how long Shirley might have to wait in a queue before it was you turn....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I often wonder what she puts in my tea. Tastes a bit funny sometimes.

      Delete
  6. We have a meteorologist named Kurt Mellish here in Atlanta who hailed from Chicago originally. Besides being one of the best weather forecasters in the country and someone whom the National Weather Service consults regarding hurricanes and tropical storms, Kurt rates every day on a scale of 1 to 10 on an imaginary "Mellish-meter"...judging from your first photograph I would rate yesterday at Wigber Low as a 10 on the Mellish-meter.

    In America there are all kinds of rules about burial that involve a sealed casket and a cement vault -- something about municipal water supplies not being contaminated, I think. But if a person wants to be buried outside municipal boundaries, even embalming is not required if the burial takes place within 24 hours after the person's death. Apparently the lives of rural residents are not as important as the lives of city residents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On the Puddingmeter it was also ten out of ten until I slipped when descending a muddy path and tumbled on my ass. Then the pointer on the meter went right down and an alarm sounded.

      Is Canton rural or "city"?

      Delete
    2. Canton is a town or small city of about 25,000 people. Cherokee County has about 220,000 people in all. I have a Canton mailing address but I live several miles from the actual town out in the unincorporated part of Cherokee County, out where there are big-acreage places with horses and dairy cattle interspersed with high-dollar subdivisions. My subdivision was one of the last of the lower-dollar ones built, if you must know. I think of it as a place just beyond suburbia, where exurbia (whatever that is) meets rural. The nearest gas stations, restaurants, grocery stores, dry cleaners, etc., are about four miles to the east of us and four miles to the west of us, both places (unincorporated Macedonia and unincorporated Hickory Flat, respectively) being islands of commerce in a vast, green, rolling sea of pastures and affluence. We are part of the outer ring of counties added in recent years to what qualifities as "metro Atlanta"....why do you ask?

      Delete
    3. Why do I ask? Because you said, "Apparently the lives of rural residents are not as important as the lives of city residents." That's why and thank you for your detailed response. I kind of knew that you had one foot in the city and another in the countryside and your answer confirms this Bob.

      Delete
    4. I would like to correct one of my very rare errors. Mr. Mellish's name is not Kurt, it's Kirk. Just keeping things accurate!

      Delete
  7. Chattanooga is just starting an Urban Memorial Forest. I am going to have a tree planted in memory of my husband, and they are letting people put ashes in the ground when the trees are planted. A friend originally from England says that is not uncommon there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a lovely thing to do Mary. The state tree of Tennessee is the tulip poplar.

      Delete
  8. so thee is some solid evidence of the practice of leaving bodies on the land.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. Archaeologists have found many fragments of ancient bones up there and they have been successfully carbon dated... back to the Mid-Neolithic period.

      Delete
  9. I know about the tulip poplar - a beautiful tree. That's what I was going to ask for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why ask Mary? Tell them - this is what I want.

      Delete
  10. There is an organization (I believe it is in Oregon) that will mix your ashes with soil and a tree sapling and then you will eventually become part of the tree that your loved ones plant. Me? I want my ashes spread in my little greenhouse where I can help the veggies grow. What I would really like to do is go into the woods and just let the end of my life happen while sitting under a beautiful fur tree. Like the elders in some of the First People tribes used to do. But, my children would never forgive me for that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your children will be wanting the whole shabang - casket, piped music, flowers, black clothes and everything. I know we are looking many years ahead when you are about 100 but you need to think about the funeral music right now. May I suggest John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High"?

      Delete
  11. Hmmmm...this is food for thought...and for the birds and nocturnal animals.

    From now on I'll make sure I keep moving when I feed the birds the meat scraps after I've finished cutting up the meat for Remy and Shama's dinner. (Remy and Shama being my two cats).

    Each afternoon I toss out the scraps to the eager, waiting birds who gather around without the need of clocks to let them know what time it is. If I'm running late they don't hang back in informing me of my tardiness.

    I'll keep a keen eye on Remy and Shama, too...and sleep only when they sleep!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Installing CCTV might be a good idea Lee. Then you can keep a watchful eye both on your cats and local birds. After all, they are waiting for you...

      Delete
  12. When Steve died, I had to pay for the privilege of taking his ashes back to Yorkshire and not have them interred on Ludwigsburg cemetery. Rules are very strict here, and only in recent years a few gardens/fields/forests of remembrance have started to offer people an alternative to the traditional cemetery.
    Steve's urn was carried by me all the way (two planes, two trains and a taxi) from here to England. His cousin scattered the ashes at Barnsley's garden of remembrance near a tree his mother had chosen, more or less at the place where his Dad's ashes had been scattered almost 30 years before. It seemed the right thing to do and I am sure it was.

    The first picture is great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carrying your husband's ashes all that way. A sad but purposeful and important journey. Not many people make journeys like that one. I am surprised that you didn't do the scattering but there must be some reason you left that goodbye task to his cousin.

      I walked by Barnsley's Garden of Remembrance last spring when cherry blossom hung heavy on some of the trees.

      Delete
  13. we have a green burial site near here at Nocton , its where i would like to be put one day , just a winding sheet and a hole in the ground

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Longholt Woood. Costs
      Single Plot Burial
      £590
      Gravedigging & Reinstatement
      £300
      Memorial Plaque
      £120
      Interment of Ashes
      £200
      Memorial Tree & Aftercare
      £120
      Scattering of Ashes
      No Charge

      Delete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.