Posts

Cimitero Monumentale di Milano Italy

Prostrate with grief in Milan

In Milan a while back, I was a little taken aback to see a woman, lying prostrate on a grave, her grief palpable, her sorrow tangible. Coming from a country that would rival Britain in its stoicism at times, such public displays of emotion are not what I’m used to. Read more

Moses: whereabouts unknown

Nabi Mosa mosque in Israel said to be a sacred place for Muslims because it is here that the prophet Moses is supposedly buried – mind you, that, like much else in the region, is subject to debate. Read more

Touching coffins in Dublin

There are more people buried in Glasnevin cemetery in Dublin that are currently alive in the city. I heard that on Saturday and it still hasn’t sunk in: 1.5 million dead vs 1.3 million alive.  A tour of the cemetery has been on my list of things to do for years and finally, thanks to the ever-on-the-ball MN, I got to cross it off my list and may well have changed my life in the process. Read more

Albuquerque New Mexico USA

The ABC of ABQ

Back when I was working in a peroxide plant in Longview, Washington, I decided to move. It wasn’t the smell from the paper mill across the road or the fact that everyone in town knew me as ‘the Irish girl from Willow Grove’ and knew my business to boot. It was that a sense of needing to be somewhere else. It was a toss-up between Alaska and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Alaska won. But for years I’ve been curious about what I missed. Read more

Missing mass in Kentucky

I like to go mass each Sunday and when in Budapest, do so religiously. Even when I travel I try to find a Catholic church and do my duty. But on occasion this proves impossible. On a trip to Kentucky, the only churches for miles were Southern Baptist, save for two others that were Methodist. I could have gone to either yet neither appealed without someone alongside me to explain what was going on. Read more

National Cemetery Terezín Czech Republic

A matter of perception

I wasn’t born a Catholic, but I may as well have been. I was baptised into the faith of my father (and mother) and have grown up with the institution that is Roman Catholicism. I’ve had my lapses. I’ve had my doubts. And I have points on papal doctrine with which I simply don’t agree. I remind myself constantly that the RC church is a man-made institution, made by men and moulded to their liking. Read more

Cemetery on the Big Island Hawaii

A grave decoration

In Hawaii, I went to visit a cemetery. I’ve written before of this odd fascination I have with graves and tombstones and all things cemeterial (is there such a word?). While I thought it difficult enough to marry snowmen and sunshine, I found it a tad surreal to see the graves sporting Christmas trees, too. Read more

Fort Chambray Gozo Malta

Who’s to blame in Gozo

Do I need to drag myself, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century, or can I stay in my self-enforced state of denial, at odds with planners everywhere? I’m all for progress but I’m also for preserving the past. I detest new developments and yet I have enough sense to know that when my building was built in 1896 it was new to someone, just as the newly built apartment blocks behind me will be old to someone in 100 years (if they last that long). Would I rather see a historic city or town alive or dead? Alive, of course. Would I rather see buildings still in use than abandoned to rats and litter? Of course, I would. So why then is the Fort Chambray development in Gozo coming between me and my sleep? Read more

Old Jewish Cemetery Budapest Hungary

A grave situation in Budapest

Traffic jams in Budapest are a common enough occurrence. A traffic jam in a cemetery though? That’s something I’d never seen before. Cars queuing to get out of a place people are literally dying to get into. Police on point duty waving their neon-colour batons in an attempt to maintain some sense of movement in a place usually known for its inertia. At 5 pm on Monday, 1st November, it was all happening at Újköztemető, the ‘new’ public cemetery out by the airport. Read more