12/01/2021: Llandaff Cemetery

Another day of expansively white and bland skies so I decided to head somewhere to try and raise the spirits…

I don’t know why, but I’ve always had a bit of a strange fondness for cemeteries, especially old ones.

You wouldn’t be wrong to call it morbid, or even ghoulish, but I find these quiet places of solitude a little bit fascinating. As a nation we seem to be almost embarrassed about death. We don’t talk about it, we certainly try not to think about it. But to me, graves – and graveyards – don’t represent death, but quite the opposite. Each of the headstones represents a life lived, a set of experiences, a person who slotted into the lives of countless others and whose legacy may (or may not) still be felt today by someone, somewhere.

It’s a rather dark irony that a time like this, when we’re all trying to hide from a potentially fatal consequences of social interaction that the cemeteries are almost completely empty (of the living). It’s a good place to walk around and not come across very many people – unlike the other parks and green spaces in our city. I had a good 30 minutes here uninterrupted by another soul – well as far as I know anyway.

Here in Llandaff Cemetery there’s some seriously old graves, and a whole section which is impenetrable with weeds, thorns and overgrown grass. You can just about make out the names on some of the stones, while others have worn away into nothingness. It’s a good reminder that you may as well enjoy the brief time you have here, as it’s not – comparatively – too long until you’re just a distant memory of a memory.

I like to read the inscriptions on the graves, see how those left behind decided to describe the departed. One day I’d love to come across a stone or plaque that was perhaps a little more honest … “loved by some”, rather than “loved by all”, for example.

Well, this has taken a turn for the macabre hasn’t it?

Distance – 4.35miles
Time – 2:02


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