For some strange reason this didn’t post yesterday despite my having set it up to do so but here we are only a day late. But the celebration continues!
Yes, it’s shadowsflyaway’s 5th Birthday!
This means that there’s no Symbol of the Month this month. So instead we will be raising our virtual glasses of what ever takes your fancy (mine’s ideally a Pimms but usually a lemon and lime flavoured water) and let’s say loudly ‘Cheers!
I’d also like to thank all of my readers especially those who have been kind enough to either ‘like’ a post or to send their comments.
So far there have been 35,195 views over the last 5 years with 300 comments so thanks again to all of you!
My most popular post is ‘It’s behind you! The Doom Painting of Chaldon church.’ with 6292 views. If you’re ever down that way it’s well worth a look.
These are strange days indeed and I send my good wishes to you all and hope that you are all keeping well and safe.
Now that lockdown has eased in the UK, I have been out and about exploring churchyards in Kent as well as the Darnley Mausoleum. This will feature in a future post as it’s a place that I have long wanted to visit. The Mausoleum didn’t disappoint.
So let’s say it loudly again ‘Cheers to shadowsflyaway!’
There’s no Symbol of the Month this month as it’s shadowsflyaway’s 4th birthday!
Yes, it’s been 4 years since I started this blog and it’s been a joy to share my enthusiasm for symbols and other cemetery related stories with you.
I thought that I might have exhausted the supply of symbols on which to write about but no I always find a new one and undoubtedly there are still more out there waiting for me.
I always look forward to exploring a new cemetery or churchyard as there’s often a new gem for me to discover. Recently I have been poking about in medieval Kent churches and discovered a devil’s doorway, windows with eyes and a fine selection of 17th and 18th century names in a list of churchyard burials. Sadly, I don’t think that Beardsel, Chariot or Sundial are going to rediscovered but you never know…..and also some of the finest memento mori.
But mostly I’ve enjoyed letting the dead speak to me through the symbols they chose to have as their lasting message to the world.
This photo was taken in the churchyard of St Peter & St Paul in Seal, Kent. The view from the back of the churchyard looks out onto the North Downs and it was literally a view to die for (sorry couldn’t resist that one)
So let’s drink a toast, mine’s a lemon and lime flavoured water, and let’s see where we go in shadowsflyaway’s 5th year!
Yes, dear reader, it was three years ago in 2015 that I began this blog. A complete novice, I set it up in order to talk about primarily funerary symbols which are my main interest and to promote my work in progress which will be a book about them. One of my great pleasures in life is exploring cemeteries, graveyards and cemeteries to find new symbols to write about. But a word of warning, remember to take a camera with you and take photos of the graves around the one that you’ve chosen otherwise they can be difficult to relocate. I feel that symbols are the deceased’s final message to the world. It can either be a way to say goodbye or a message of comfort to those left behind. However, I can only speculate on the reasons for their choice.
But, while writing this blog, I’ve also become interested in the living residents of cemeteries – the wildlife. Often cemeteries are locked up at night and are usually quiet places which enable wildlife to flourish. There are often wild areas where the grass is left uncut and these can be a vital lifeline in an urban green space. They can support many different varieties of wildflowers, butterflies, moths, grasshoppers, dragonflies and also foxes and birds. At a recent Brompton Cemetery Exploring Butterflies day 13 species of Butterflies were found. It’s interesting how people use cemeteries as one man enthusiastically recommended Brompton Cemetery’s plentiful supply of blackberries for his smoothies!
So, thanks to my readers and visitors for staying with me over the last 3 years. I hope you’ve enjoyed my posts, photographs and theories on particular symbols. There’s plenty more to come including exploring what remains of the Necropolis Railway at Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey, a return visit to Chaldon Church to look at the churchyard memorials and also to the place where my interest in cemeteries began, St Lawrence’s Hospital burial ground also in Surrey and a Roman necropolis surrounded by back gardens in Italy.
And as always there will be Symbol of the Month. It’s always fascinating to undertake the research for these as there may be several different interpretations of meaning and it can also led into other directions.
So please come with me through either the cemetery gates or perhaps the lychgate to a churchyard and let’s explore together. There’s a symbol over there that I haven’t seen before and although I’m not sure what it means now I soon will…..
Yes shadowsflyaway is two years old this month! I’ll just blow out the candles on the birthday cake…
When I started shadowsflyaway in July 2015 I had no idea if anyone would read it although I invited a few like-minded people to view it. But sometimes putting something out into cyberspace with no idea of who, or if anyone, is going to look at it can be very liberating.
But some of my readers and followers have been with me from the start so thank you for staying with me and the blog.
And also welcome to my new followers and readers – it’s great to have you on board!
I really enjoy writing and researching shadowsflyaway as well as taking the photos to accompany the posts. I never know where the research might take me from a simple symbol to an unsolved Victorian murder. I know that Symbol of the Month is very popular and there’s many more out there for me to write about and discover. As a tour guide leading a recent Symbols tour within Brompton Cemetery it was a privilege to share my passion with other enthusiastic people face to face.
Shadowsflyaway started out to support my proposed book on symbols which is still an ongoing project. But the blog has taken on a life of its own and has also encompassed other aspects of cemeteries such as wildlife etc.
So raise your glasses,mugs or cups and let’s drink a toast to you for your support and to the next year of shadowsflyaway……now let me take you by the hand and we’ll explore that shadowy, overgrown part of the local cemetery as I’m sure there’s an interesting symbol under all that undergrowth……trust me I know these things.