Alfie: Is there nothing the Chavs won’t spoil?!

30 Jan

I heard from my Father today!

Yes, I know! I’ve already mentioned in several places on my own site that he died in September 2006 and that I believe his non-material essence to be away exploring nearby reaches of our Home Galaxy.

Nevertheless it was appropriate that I seemed to hear his voice just when I did.

My wife and I visited my Mother in Ipswich this weekend and, as an act of remembrance of Dad and his impending 84th birthday, took some flowers up to the rose bush under which his ashes were poured. This is situated in a special Rose Garden in the newer Ipswich Cemetery along Tuddenham Road which had not long been open in 2006 but which now seems to be filling up at an alarming rate!

Once upon a time a cemetery was a dignified, rather gloomy place with uniform grey headstones and an occasional Yew tree. Quiet, reflective places where the idea of “embellishment” ran to green granite chippings or perhaps a stone angel of the sort that would scare the crap out of kids brought up on recent series of Doctor Who!

But now? Oh dear! The Chavs and merchants of tackiness have taken over!

Walking from the car park past “normal” graves and the smaller stones commemorating where people have had the urns with their ashes interred, we were struck by the horrendous over-decoration done by the friends and families of the deceased.

There are (and I’m only trying to give you an impression here – the reality was FAR worse!):

Plastic flowers by the ton – not just almost “natural” replicas but also completely invented “species” in totally unnatural colours.

Photographs of the deceased somehow embedded into the headstone (which can, itself, be any colour under the sun)!

Garden Gnomes.

Figures representing sports or pastimes that the deceased presumably loved (or was killed by)!

And, to keep anyone from missing the “glory” of it all, hundreds of solar-powered garden lamps!

It was, however, as we walked the last few yards to the rose garden in what should have been silence that I clearly heard Dad’s voice speaking in my head using the dry, humorous tone he used.

“How can anyone Rest In Peace amongst all these bloody wind-chimes?!”

The whole experience caused me to rethink Rupert Brooke’s immortal lines as follows:

                “If I should die, think only this of me;

                That there’s some corner of a Suffolk field that is forever

                Lit up like a runway and clanging like a fire engine!”

And if anyone from the relevant Local Authority reads this, PLEASE invoke some by-law or other and restore some DIGNITY to the place!

Alfie  (


3 Responses to “Alfie: Is there nothing the Chavs won’t spoil?!”

  1. Vincent January 31, 2011 at 1:57 am #

    Reminds me of a piece I did for my organ – the one where me and Dad were going to restore Grandad’s last resting place (an old-fashioned GRAVE) and I had placed the necessary materials in a convenient sack, while Dad carried the spade (which was too big for the sack).

    As we left the cemetary car park for the graveyard, I noticed we were getting strange looks from people. It then dawned on me that while WE knew we were about to perform a mundane task – to those people, we were just two men walking into a graveyard – one with a spade – the other, a sack.

    The words “Burke” and “Hare” immediately sprang to mind…

  2. Alfie January 31, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    Actually, Cy, “They mean well” did not occur to me for a second!

    “Have they no TASTE!” was more like it!


  3. Vincent January 31, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

    They’re probably the same low-lifes who lit FIREWORKS during the Eclipse!

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