Today we see a twist on the idea of a hand made life.
I love a cemetery.

I spent lots of my childhood playing in them.
I love the sense of clam and history
There is one near here that is an unsung glory amongst London Cemeteries.

West Norwood Cemetery.
It has it all, Huge mausoleums, Victorian grandure, over grown spooky bits, a smattering of famous local people and lots and lots of statuary.

I was taking lots of pictures trying to capture the atmosphere when I realised this would make a perfect hand made life.

Stone cold hands.
Some one, somewhere back in the mists of time some very talented stone mason took chisel in hand and stood before a large slab of stone.
100 and odd years later here I am two noisy boys on scooters in tow snapping away and pondering.

Pondering on the talent and skill that went in to creating them.
But also the men who did the creating, where they were made, the tea breaks taken, the after work pints in the pub.
And what of the histories these beautiful angels could tell us.

The many things that have happened since they were placed in commemoration of someones life.

Two world wars, umpteen recessions, one depression, coronations, changes of parliament, the introduction of the motorised vehicle, the decline in the use of the horse drawn carriage, telephones, aeroplanes, televisions, electric street lights,
ankle length skirts, knee length skirts, short skirts.
jobs for women!
When you start to list it like this it really becomes mind blowing.
Not all public art is made by some one famous, not all public art was supposed to be public art.
But all of it has been made by someone.
This one in particular spoke to me.
I think may be I'm all to familiar with the head in hands despairing attitude.
On a lighter note this did really tickle me.

Love Nora xx


  1. I love graveyards too! in fact I live next door to one! but there is such a wonderful calming atmosphere in them. I'm afraid ours is very plain and simple with none of the wonderful carvings that you have shown - did you find out anything about the escaped nun????

  2. I love old cemetaries. When visiting New Brunswick I found a few interesting stones that were very descriptive of the lives led by the person buried underneath, almost like a stone obituary. One stone chronicled a man's last day in which he saved an entrie family from a flood and died in the same flood later that day. "The Escaped Nun" is very intruiging.

  3. Is this her?

    Kirsty x

  4. I know what you mean. I visited the one in Paris and that was amazing and absorbing. I saw 'Woman in Black' last night and I am still spooked... I wouldn't visit a cemetery today. Helen

  5. The last one is so funny - I've never seen anything like that!
    I too love being in cemetaries - they are so interesting, peaceful yet moving at the same time. I love the old stone and moss and the yew trees.
    Thank you for sharing these, Nora !

  6. Beautiful photographs, thanks for sharing them. I think I'm going to have to make time to stroll round our cemetery again. The modern part is just over the fence at the end of the road, a favourite haunt of our cats but the older and possibly more interesting part is a bit further away.

  7. I love cenetries too :) These pics are fab. Kx

  8. The stonemasons craft has always boggled me. I can unpick wonky stitches or trim uneven seams but one slip of the chisel and the entire piece can be ruined. To carve something so life like out of cold hard stone is truly amazing. What wonderful images you've captured.


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