29 January 2013

Are we sure?

Yesterday we were in Norwich for the funeral of a close friend of my parents. Well we didn't actually go to the cremation, which was earlier than we could get there, but to the following memorial service. The service was low-key and humanist, which is what Brian would have wanted, and held at Colney Wood Burial Park — a woodland burial site on the outskirts of Norwich near the university. This is where my father is buried, and it was apparently his funeral which made Brian think this was what he too wanted.

Even on a cold winter's day, with some snow still on the ground, the wood is a delightful place full of pine and beech trees. Imagine how delightful it is on a lovely Spring day when the bluebells are at their best! The park is sympathetically managed as a native woodland; the only rules being that one is not allowed to put up memorial markers of anything other than native wood and a small size, only unwrapped cut-flowers, and no planting of anything which isn't native. All the woodland paths are natural and there is an absolute minimum of brick and concrete (essentially just the footings of the buildings). I always think the three, rather apical, wooden buildings, set discretely amongst the trees, are very American Indian — they're almost like a small huddle of wigwams, which is quite in keeping with the quiet, gentle ethos of the place. (I must try to photograph them when next we're there.)

This is so much nicer a place to be buried than in the average cemetery. It's a shame there aren't more such. Every town really should have one.

One humorous (well to me anyway) thing I noticed as we drove in the gate yesterday was this notice.


My father, whose grave is not 100m away, must be gentry revolving.

A sad day, but such a delightful place.

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