Big Skies Over St Pancras and Islington Cemetery

Dear Readers, when my poor Mum became more or less housebound, she used to love to hobble to the front door, take a left turn, and look out over the hills at the back of the bungalow. She would never walk there again, but how she loved looking at the sky!

“It’s good to stretch me eyes”, she’d say. And so it is, especially when, like me, one spends so much time looking at a screen eighteen inches away. When I go to the cemetery sometimes I am amazed at how huge the sky is, how ever-changing, and how full of interest. Those clouds, that look so light and fluffy down here, turn out to be much more solid than you’d expect when you go through them in a plane – you can feel the drag and the buffeting. And then you soar above them, into a realm that’s always filled with sunshine. Mum didn’t go on a plane until she was into her fifties, but she always loved it.

And here, as a special treat, is the incomparable Kate Bush with her 1985 song ‘The Big Sky’. I was singing it in my head all the way around the cemetery. Kate is having something of a moment, with one of her songs (‘Running Up That Hill’) being used in the Netflix series ‘Stranger Things’. It’s great to see a new generation appreciating her music.

Last week’s walk was bittersweet. There is much to be happy about. The cottonwood tree that produced so many fluffy seeds last year has been brutally pollarded, but I’m happy to see that it’s coming back into leaf, regardless.

There are lovely patches of creeping buttercup in the damper areas.

The sycamore keys are plentiful this year, and so pretty.

But there is a set of rather brutal paths next to where the meadow used to be, and a couple of parking spaces, so I imagine that new graves will be going in here soon. Well, I suppose it is a graveyard so I can lament but not complain.

And although the comfrey has been dug out, it seems to be staging a fightback, along with a mass of other ‘weeds’.

And look at this cheeky squirrel. I’ve noticed that they eat the flowers from the memorial wreathes before, but this one seems particularly cheeky. I love the way that s/he is holding  the chrysanthemum as if s/he was a little dog.


1 thought on “Big Skies Over St Pancras and Islington Cemetery

  1. Anne

    Your observations clearly reflect our natural dislike of change 🙂 It is surprising how quickly we get used to it though. I empathise with your delight in big skies – I love looking up at the sky, whether it is clear or cloudy.


Leave a Reply