I walk my dogs in the Abney Park Cemetery in Stoke Newington on the mornings I can be bothered to walk the mile to get there. It’s the most heavenly (if you’ll excuse the expression) place — overgrown, wild, filled with flowers, birds, rare trees and stories. Sometimes I get names for characters there. Sometimes I meet people I know. Sometimes I go early and that’s best of all, because before anyone else is awake the dogs have a grand old time sniffing out squirrels and ghosts.

Here are some of the things I saw today:

1. Frank Bostock’s lion. The famous 19th century king of the traveling menagerie is buried near the entrance, his grave guarded by the most soulful life-size lion you can imagine.

2. Men in the bushes engaged in…nude wrestling, perhaps?  Annoyed to be interrupted by my nosey dogs. And rightly so.

3. Joggers.  Who greet other joggers, but not dog-walkers.

4. Dog walkers.  Who greet other dog-walkers, often at length.  The length of the greeting depends largely on the percentage of genetic material the owners’ dogs share.  Lurcher owners meeting other lurcher owners can tarry for ages, basking in the warmth of mutual admiration.

5. Single men smoking cigarettes and wandering unhurriedly along the paths not making eye-contact with dog-walkers.  See also number 2.

6. A lesser spotted woodpecker.  Which, despite its lesser status, was producing a great deal of tap tap tapping.

7. A friend and his very large “labrador.”  I say “labrador” because the dog is so obviously not a labrador that it defies rational belief. “But they told me it was a pedigree,” he says. “A pedigree what?” I reply.  I think this is where the expression “being sold a pup” comes from.  Though in his case, the pup is very nice indeed, despite not being a labrador and being at least half moose.

The good news is that we didn’t see a fox.  There was a fox in Abney cemetery once. I know this for absolute certain because my dogs saw it before I did and….well. That’s another story.

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8 thoughts on “What I saw in the graveyard this morning.

  1. April Genevieve 5 years ago

    Sometimes I feel like I’ve spent half my life in cemeteries. I had an on again off again relationship during my early twenties with the Dickenson Rose mausoleum in a certain Minnesota graveyard…

  2. bookwitch 5 years ago

    Why no photo of nude wrestling?

  3. Em 5 years ago

    This post was a beautiful thing to wake up to. I love the way you write.

  4. Sheryl Gwyther 5 years ago

    Lovely post, Meg with some great images for me to imagine this morning in Australia. 🙂

  5. martine Frampton 5 years ago

    My daughter just kept exclaiming ‘What!’ as i read this aloud to her.
    thanks for sharing
    martine

  6. Anthony McGowan 5 years ago

    Much more likely to have been a greater spotted …

  7. Pingback: Dog Walkers | Life on Planet Chicken with the Domestic Dogess

  8. lottie 5 years ago

    Oh how very, hilariously descriptive – I was right there with you!

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