Yarn Bombing the Victorians

I hope the Victorians had a playful side.

If not, they may well have been deeply unamused by the antics down at our local graveyard today.

But I was. With nothing more pressing to do on a grey day, we ventured down to the local cemetery. As you do.

To scramble (respectfully) amongst the graves of the mighty and good from Bristol, UK, who lived in the 1800s onwards. Arnos Vale Cemetery is a great place to visit though. Certainly for its impressive heritage, history and wildlife (and rather nice cafe which sells cake). But also due to its very eery aspect. Of hidden, ancient graves, sunken and broken, deep within a 45 acre woodland.

Perfect for leaping out behind a headstone making ghoulish noises with a torch under your chin. If you felt the urge.

Terrifying to think of all those cracked stone lids and the old bones that lie underneath.

But the interesting fact is that there was no wood when these graves were originally dug and its worthy occupants buried. In fact it was a rather lovely rolling hill of green fields.

Apparently it was one sycamore tree that started it; its little seedlings on a mission, flying on the wind and trampled underfoot, that got that little forest going.

The place is a positive tourist attraction. Albeit, not quite Pere Lachaise in Paris (which is amazing!); there is no Jim Morrison grave here with its accompanying ‘gifts’, but is certainly fascinating. There is a note worthy Rajah buried here though.

And today, there was even more fun to be had graveside. Attracting car loads of healthy families and ruddy-cheeked children scooting from one yarn to another, was a yarn-bombed graveyard.

Some call it graffiti. But it’s not at all. It’s colourful, creative and playful. And of course, all done very sensitively on this occasion. Which is a shame in a way, I would have loved to have seen a few headstones all snuggled up in a woolly coat (it has been done), but perhaps the Victorians within weren’t taken to snuggling.If you are not familiar with yarn bombing already, here’s a quickie insight of what it is. Click this link to a cool site http://yarnbombing.com/





I love autumn!

I know it’s a farewell to summer, but it’s also a welcome to many wonderful things.

For me these things include the smell of bonfires; a crisp blue day kicking up leaves in a park; wrapping up in warm clothes and furry boots; cooking comforting winter meals like goulash and sausage & mash; and the anticipation of winter festivals like Halloween and Christmas.

My very favourite thing though is not strictly related to the outdoors, more of an excuse really. It is to sit in front of a roaring fire, to curl up on the sofa cradling some mulled wine and to sit suspended in that warm, peaceful moment.

Most of all autumn is about the trees. The amazing transformation of the leaves; from green to yellow, from gold to red. Until they fall to the ground creating a russet carpet for us to kick through.

There is a charming children’s song from the 1880’s which celebrates autumn:

“Come said the wind to
the leaves one day.
Come o’re the meadows
and we will play.
Put on your dresses
scarlet and gold.
For summer is gone
and the days grow cold.”

One of the best places to go, to witness the magical beauty of trees during autumn (apart from a quick trip to New England or Canada!), is Westonbirt Arboretum in England, UK.

I took the few photographs included here at Westonbirt back in November 2008. It was amazing, so many colours and textures, the trees putting on their best show of the year!

You can see more of these photos, captured in a special Blurb book I created as a Christmas present for family and friends that year. (Click here to take a peek!).

What do you think of autumn?