Sometimes I think I want to be buried, and other times I think I want to be cremated. I suppose I need to make my mind up really or my family will have no idea what to do after my demise and if they get it wrong (through no fault of their own) it is highly likely I will come back and haunt them forever. I pondered this scenario as I wandered around the graveyard at St Gregory’s church, next door to Welford Park on Saturday.
You know, Welford Park, home of the Bake Off tent….well I didn’t. Or rather I did know this, but had seemingly forgotten it. Despite the fact I knew the show had runners stationed in Waitrose in Newbury should somebody suddenly find themselves in need of a missing ingredient I hadn’t put two and two together as we pulled in to the car park. Or looked at a set of stone steps in the middle of the lawn, thinking they looked a bit familiar. The penny only dropped when I saw a Bake Off jigsaw for sale in the gift shop. Not even their own website, that I had looked at for directions, mentions it so I could be forgiven for forgetting that nugget of information as we wandered the snow drops (which will be on the blog tomorrow).
But back to my death.
I did once say to Mr B as we wandered another cemetery (not that I am obsessed with my own demise) that I wanted to be cremated and put in a posh urn and proudly displayed on a mantle piece. Then on a fairly regular basis I be sent to various friends and family to be looked after in rotation. A bit like the school hamster. But without the worry that I might escape. Or die. Since I am already dead.
Quite a genius idea I thought.
And then I found myself reading graves on Saturday, looking at names and thinking about the person behind that three inch carved lettering.
look mum, there is a Barrow, maybe you are related
Wow, this guy was a speedway champion and his wife was an Olympic figure skater
Thinking about the person who had died. And, of course, lived. Remembering them for that split second. If we aren’t in a graveyard or in a burial ground, who will remember us when all who knew us are dead?
Quite a profound thought process for a sunny afternoon but it has really opened the debate in my head again so I am now going off the hamster idea a bit and thinking stone monolith
Anyway, back to Window Wednesday. There were lots of stunning windows in this church, and a gorgeous circular tower (one of only two in Berkshire). As you would expect the church itself is as old as the hills and was once owned by Abingdon Abbey (until the dissolution of the monasteries). The monks lived in the grange, which is where Welford Park now stands. Norman Monks used to plant snowdrops as they were seen as a sign of purity and of cleansing the earth after winter so as you would expect there are a lot in this graveyard, and even more next door in the grounds of the House.
If you find yourself in the area I would suggest taking ten minutes out to go inside the church, it is a little hidden gem
With the original Norman font
And a small boy reading. How cute is Annie’s youngest?