I got a bunch of stuff for Christmas, namely things I could eat, things that smell nice and goth stuff (these categories are not mutually exclusive). Raven fairylights, a colouring book where everything has to be coloured in black and brewery tours (ok, not goth, but I’ll be wearing black so I’m counting it) but the most goth present I got was a guided tour around Highgate Cemetery.
Any followers of my instagram account (and people that know me even vaguely) know that I love visiting cemeteries. They’re peaceful and beautiful. I love learning about how different cultures deal with death and I’m steadily collecting historical books on funerary practices and customs. Highgate is a renowned London cemetery, famously described as a ‘Victorian Valhalla’, but my favourite quote about the place is from Shelley. “It might make one in love with death, to think that one should be buried in so sweet a place.” Doesn’t get more goth than that.
Despite having hints dropped like anvils that I should ‘wrap up warm’ and ‘bring decent shoes’ just in case it was cold over Christmas, I wore my TUKs with holes in the heel to my surprise trip. I was like an excited child on the tube, and all the way up the hill to Highgate. After walking around the East cemetery and waving at Douglas Adams, I bought a bunch of books in the chapel. And a postcard. And a cemetery candle. Our tour guide was a gently spoken American man who immediately got my respect by asking everyone to turn their phones off before he started.
I won’t ‘review’ the cemetery, or the tour, if you like history and/or graveyards it is well worth it. I might take a flask of tea next time. Or go in the summer. I think I liked the catacombs best. I would have liked time to walk around by myself but they don’t allow it (insurance issues I would imagine). I saw bat boxes too. Bats who live in Highgate cemetery must be the gothest bats ever. Other than the bats who live in Gothenburg. It was a pretty gothic day.
Then we went to the Sealife Centre where I got excited over Sea Dragons and annoyed over children, and onto Winter Wonderland for over-priced lager on a revolving bar. And more annoying children. Ok, the day got a little less goth as it went on but it was still pretty awesome. And exhausting…