Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Tombstones and Dogs.

I'm probably outing myself as a total weirdo right now, but I have a mild fascination with graveyards. Always have.

It's not really easy to explain what it is that I like about them. The easiest answer is that I like the peacefulness of them. It's more than that though. I like the kind of creepy feeling that permeates when you enter into one. It feels almost otherworldly.

I spent a lot of time in one particular graveyard as a kid. I'd always take the shortcut to get there, through a field, under a wire fence and then through a little patch of trees and weeds which led me into it. I'd sit on a little brown bench and look out over the green grass and brownish, grey headstones with the spots of moss gathering on them.

Today was nice and sunny in Edinburgh so I went for a little wander and it took me past Greyfriar's Kirkyard. This graveyard is famous in Scotland as it's where Greyfriar's Bobby, a West Highland Terrier is buried and commemorated in statue outside. Bobby is a well known figure in Scottish folklore and the story is that he watched over his masters grave at Greyfriar's Kirkyard for fourteen years before he too passed away. I loved the novel written by Eleanor Atkinson when I was a child and so I've always had a picture of 19th Century Edinburgh in my mind when I think of Bobby. 21st Century Edinburgh isn't all that different from how I imagined it, if truth be told.

I've never been into the Kirkyard before but if you too, like me, are a Greyfriar's Bobby fan and a bit of a graveyard fetishist then it probably won't disappoint.

1 comment:

  1. I love this set of photographs. Edinburgh is so beautiful: I can't help but fall a little more in love every time I see a photograph of the architecture (and when I visit obviously!). I've been to Greyfriar's Kirkyard once before but I'd love to go again. I also have a bit of an obsession with graveyards - they really are such peaceful, special places, perfect for thinking about the past and reflecting on the future. I've posted about the Glasgow Necropolis a couple of times of my blog - if you've never visited, please do next time you're through in Glasgow.

    Also, shout out to Bobby - what a wonderful story and wonderful, little champ.