So I took her advice....

So I took her advice....

In a recent blog, I was soundly chastised after writing about my annoyance levels being raised by noisy, unappreciative children when I visited a museum with one and only son during half term.
I said I couldn't work out why parents allowed their youngsters to be so loud and to encroach on other people's outings without realising that their youngsters were getting on the nerves of other visitors.
I wondered if it was me being intolerant in my advancing years. 
One of the people who replied to my blog's musings, said it most definitely was me.  The gist of her chastisement was I should be ready for children being children and if I wanted a quiet life I should go visit a graveyard.   Thankfully,  many others replied to my blog, expressing the same views as myself so I knew I wasn't a lone (quiet) voice. 
However, I'm quite willing to be told I'm a bit out of kilter with the masses, so I thought deeply about the view of the person who suggested a graveyard would be the perfect day out for me.
And so I went to a graveyard.  And do you know, I thoroughly enjoyed it!  There was hardly anybody there.  The only other people were doing the same as us - wandering round and reading the epitaphs on the headstones.  There was no noise at all - only the dripping of the rain on my brolly.  Wonderful.
However, I did suffer a blip to my annoyance levels.  We had to pay to get in.  At least the museum and the noise had been free.  I'll explain further.  We went to Highgate cemetery, in north London, the place where Karl Marx is buried.  Jeremy Beadle is buried there too.  I know this place might therefore be viewed as a historic location, but it's also the resting place of ordinary people who presumably lived and died in the Highgate area.  I wanted to see the grave of author Beryl Bainbridge, but as we tipped up the money to the cashier we were told it was in another part of the cemetery and the last tour had gone...
It was £3 for me, £2 for husband who has a student card because he's studying for an MA, and nothing for children under 16.  There was a prominent notice about how much it cost for the upkeep of the cemetery, but I was too annoyed to finish reading the first sentence. 
One and only son said:  ''I don't think it's fair to make money out of people who have died.''
''I agree,'' I said.
As we stood in front of the Karl Marx monument I thought about how ironic it was that I'd had to shell out money for the man who had campaigned against the exploitation of the masses.  What would he have thought of people having to pay to look at his grave?  I'm not particularly Left wing in my political stance, but I sometimes do have a Left wing moment or two. 
But apart from reluctantly delving into my purse, I must say I did experience a calm, restful feeling as I walked round the graveyard, perused the gravestones and wondered about the lives these people had led.  So, thanks to the person who replied to my original blog and suggested it.  You were spot on!

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Nice one - so glad you enjoyed the graveyard! I can't believe you were charged to go in though - that really is outrageous. If you have a relative buried there do you have to pay too?

Anonymous | Report this comment

Highgate Cemetery receives no government funding and is run by a charity that relies on donations, tours and burials to get by. If the cemetery didn't charge an admission fee, the gates would have to be closed. All monies raised go towards the upkeep and restoration of the cemetery. If you have a relative buried in the cemetery, you can apply for a grave owners pass to come and go as you please.

Anonymous | Report this comment

Karl Marx relied heavily on charity from his good mate Engels to get by so he probably wouldn't be spinning in his grave about the fact that the cemetery is run by a charity.

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