No, not that one.
There's nothing quite like Halloween. Outside the leaves have gone yellow and the air is thick with mist from all those fireworks people have been letting off in their back gardens. It's time for costumes, scary movies and putting up that stuff that looks like cotton wool - you know, the stringy stuff with plastic spiders in that you thought was fun at first but now it's all over everything and it won't come off.
Loving cemeteries, history and being somewhat fascinated by the dead and dead spaces means that every day is like Halloween for me. At the weekend I went into Tiger (TOP SHOPPING TIP if you love STUFF - Tiger sells everything from bunting to bathroom scales) and found they were selling foam tombstones - painted black and decorated with skulls - for £2 each. I began to picture how good my living room would look with foam tombstones as a central feature. I enthusiastically picked up a stack and plopped them down on the counter.
'Decorating for Halloween?' the sales assistant asked me. She had dyed black hair and a nose ring so I felt I could be honest with her. 'Well no, just decorating for LIFE'' I told her in excited tones. 'Tombstones are great on every day of the year aren't they?' There was a silence. 'Um....okay then. Have a nice day!' came the eventual response. I left the store feeling deflated, inwardly reminding myself not to be deliberately weird in front of people. Then I took my tombstones home, propped them up and spent a really annoying half hour trying to get my cat to pose in front of them.
This didn't work because cats never do what you want them to, especially if they twig that you want them to do a specific thing.
Having recently adopted a black cat who I had spent the last couple of months feeding, watering and letting take over my home, I felt it was now time for her to pay her dues and be suitably Spooky in photos I could post to Instagram. It was only fair.
She didn't want to be spooky, she wanted to roll on the floor...
...and then have a nap.
Living in a house with a black cat and decorative gravestones propped up in doorways is Quite Good I reckon. At Christmas I will put tinsel on them (but maybe not on the cat).
In typical cat fashion, the minute I had given up on getting any photos of her in front of my new favourite house feature and put my camera down, she went and sat right where I had been trying to get her to go for most of the afternoon.
Happy Halloween everybody. I celebrated the big day by visiting a cemetery early in the morning, before the mist from last nights' fireworks had burned away, to find the lonely resting place of a murdered Victorian teenager, and take hundreds of photos of gravestones in fog (look out for an upcoming post featuring these). How will you celebrate this most creepy of holidays?
All photographs Copyright Christina Owen 2016.
The correct word for a cemetery enthusiast is a 'taphophile' and I used to think I was the only one. Now I know that there are others out there who find cemeteries to be peaceful and fascinating places. This section of the blog is called 'The Cemetery Diaries' and it covers traditional cemeteries as well as dead spaces of all kinds, which are found everywhere, all the time. The past is never too far away, and these dead spaces are often more alive than you'd think. Check back here for a record of all things Cemetery and my adventures in finding life and blazing colour in the most unlikely of places.