On Saturday lunchtimes the West Sussex Record Office closes for lunch (I always refer to it as getting kicked out at lunchtime), and to be honest it is quite a good thing as it forces me to take a break. Usually I would just wander around Chichester city centre, but that is not the most enjoyable way of spending an hour (even if there is a very nice bookshop in South Street).
Today I decided to jump aboard a No. 60 bus and head out of the city to the village of West Dean. Not only was it a great way to see a bit of the countryside (from the top of a double decker) but it also gave me the chance to visit the burial ground at West Dean where my great grandparents are buried (and several other relations).
It wasn’t the first time I had done it, and I was there and back almost within the hour lunch break, so it wasn’t a particularly long visit. The weather wasn’t perfect, the sun was still struggling to break through the clouds, but it was still nice to get outside and away from the crowds of the city.
I was pleased to see that some clearing up had been done at the burial ground since my last visit, and most of the undergrowth had been cleared. I had located my great grandparents grave before, so knew exactly where to go. I am embarrassed to say that the grave is looking very much uncared for (you will probably see a photo of it on Tombstone Tuesday).
Herein lies a problem, I want to do something about it, it needs a bit of work on the grass and soil around and inside the kerb stones, but it is not going to be easy for me to get the tools down there, but one way or another I will find a way.
I have a similar issue with flowers on graves, I never leave flowers on my distant ancestor’s graves because there is nothing worse than a bunch of dead flowers on a grave, so unless I know that I or someone else is going to be there to clear them away when they have died I don’t bother. Artificial flowers may last a bit longer, but they eventually die (fade and fall apart in the sun) as well.
I wish there was a way of marking the fact that I had been to visit, that I knew who these people were and what they meant to me, and most importantly that they are remembered.