Archive for the Grave News Category

Snacks Bygraves

Posted in Food & Drink, Grave News, Sort-of-News on April 22, 2013 by Johnnie

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A pleasant cup of tea?  Then I’ll meet you at the cemetery gates.

For a blog with the preoccupations this one has, how pleasant to find that a quaint tea room has opened in the quiet surroundings of Deansgrange Cemetery in South Dublin. In a place I like to visit often, this is a very welcome addition to the local area.

Rumours of “a tea room in the graveyard” has circulated for some time; I’m never sure where these start and how they get around but it was quite enticing. For years I’ve thought it would a great idea – how morbidly jolly, munching themed snacks in the shadow of tombstones, like a kind of permanent Hallowe’en. Then I thought, no, locals might find the notion a little lugubrious. And then I recalled that it’s apparently an Irish tradition to visit cemeteries on Christmas Day to remember departed relatives as part of the celebration – ‘Ho Ho Ho’ indeed.

Here it is, then: a (so far) nameless tea room, in a newly refurbished office building just inside the main cemetery gates.   Continue reading

Marr, Morrissey and the notion that comebacks don’t work

Posted in Grave News, Heroes, Music, Unwanted Comebacks, Words on April 2, 2013 by Johnnie

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Last week, as I write, this blog and its beloved went to see Johnny Marr play at that lugubrious Dublin venue, The Academy. For anyone in their 40s who had seen The Smiths in their heyday (i.e. any point in their brief career), it was an extraordinary experience.  Johnny Marr has finally settled back into his skin, reclaiming his role as the guitar hero of a generation and the man behind some of the most delightfully crafted chord sequences ever created. He not only has a fine solo album, The Messenger, out, but he’s now merrily playing some of those old greats like it was the most natural thing in the world.

And really, it should be the most natural thing in the world. They’re 50% his songs.

The ‘surprise’ (and, really, we should have had more faith) is just how natural it is for him to play – and for us to hear.  His former sidekick Morrissey has been playing the same songs on and off for nigh on 20 years, as he was the voice and the melody we had all known and adored on those records. However, it was but a bar or so into Marr’s rendition of ‘Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before’ (the second song of his set) that it becomes obvious what we’ve been missing all these years – hearing those songs played properly. Continue reading

Reader Poll: The results are in…

Posted in Advice, Grave News, Unwanted Comebacks, WhingeRantMoan, Words on March 6, 2013 by Johnnie

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Yes, it’s March, so obviously it’s spring time and this blog’s year-end. Actually, regular readers (who aren’t regular in the conventional sense) will point out that they thought the blog ended ages ago, such has been the sporadic nature of posting. So, it was to a few of those regular souls that I sent a poll about IHGN‘s very future.

The questions were:

1. Are you still a reader of I Have Grave News

2. If not, why not?

3. If so – thanks – but what would you like to read more of here?

In a sobering show of indifference, a “whopping” 20% of those polled bothered to reply.

The results were: Continue reading

Sic

Posted in Books, Grave News, Heroes, Words on December 5, 2012 by Johnnie

Berenice“Misery is manifold. The wretchedness of earth is multiform. Overreaching the wide horizon as the rainbow, its hues are as various as the hues of that arch, –as distinct too, yet as intimately blended. Overreaching the wide horizon as the rainbow! How is it that from beauty I have derived a type of unloveliness? – from the covenant of peace a simile of sorrow? But as, in ethics, evil is a consequence of good, so, in fact, out of joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of to-day, or the agonies which are have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been.” EAP – Berenice

Depression – don’t just pretend to be aware, become properly Aware.

Posted in Grave News, Words with tags on October 10, 2012 by Johnnie


On World Mental Health Day, it’s worth noting, again, just how alone people with depression are and feel. Not everyone seems to realise this, and there is still an astonishing amount of ignorance and denial, despite a great number of awareness campaigns on depression.

Aware do incredible work in this field with their “I Am Aware” campaign, and, as their name suggests, they also encourage everyone to share the message that there is support available, that people suffering from depression need not be alone.

People are probably familiar with the great Stephen Fry’s wonderful recent quote on the symptoms of depression, and I’m sure millions ‘retweeted’ it. Still, it’s worth repeating here:

“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.

Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.”

Continue reading

Some people

Posted in Grave News on April 11, 2012 by Johnnie

Some people are just meant to be loners.  Continue reading

Death becomes us, on the internet

Posted in Dearly Departed, Grave News on February 15, 2012 by Johnnie

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How fondly the dead are remembered.  For most people, but most especially the extraordinarily famous, their death becomes a celestial slate wiper.   No matter the circumstances of their demise – suicide, years of self-abuse, murder, or ‘natural causes’ – all sins are returned to the shadows as the internet comes alive with inconsolable grief.   Repeatedly, press, television, and the online kangaroo court known as Twitter, focus on all the good the deceased ever did, and can never do again.  In death, angels are born.

The living are not afforded such luxury.   Continue reading

Pointing the way to a Happy New Year

Posted in Disasters, Grave News, New Stuff, Strange phenomena, Unwanted Comebacks on January 1, 2012 by Johnnie

Dearie me, it’s 2012.

The world is in the grip of death, famine, financial collapse, and, despite the so-called ‘Arab Spring’, there are still a significant number of lunatics running the global asylum.  The New Year arrives with violent storms battering the coasts of Britain and Ireland.  Even David Bowie is about to turn 65.  All we can really do is hope for the best.

This year, I’m hoping to continue where 1997 left off, creatively-speaking.  Let’s call it a ‘creative spring’.  I wrote an awful more in 2011 than I even managed in 1997 (when I took a – ahem – ‘career break’ to write a novel), so here’s to new horizons, finding silver linings in the blanket of dark clouds and, like the Wombles always said, making good use of the things I find.

Continue reading

Normal service will be resumed. Maybe.

Posted in Grave News on July 10, 2011 by Johnnie

These are Grave times…

Posted in Grave News, Travel on October 29, 2010 by Johnnie

It is that time of year.  The air has turned chill and crisp, the leaves brown, orange and scarlet.  The time of overcoats, scarves, gloves and mystery, when I feel the overwhelming impulse to listen to the very bleakest Scott Walker and read ghost stories.  It’s also the time when I feel like spend chilly afternoons wandering around cemeteries.

As the title of this blog suggests, I love cemeteries, graves, tombs and all the paraphernalia of death.  Growing up reading Poe and MR James, it’s hardly surprising.  I’m drawn to all things Hammer and there’s little more enthralling than a graveyard scene in any novel, even those which don’t involve the supernatural; the opening of The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins being one of the finest examples.

Cemeteries are amongst the few places I can become properly lost in thought.  There is a peace and tranquility within their walls which is unlike any other, and one that encourages wandering rather than sitting in contemplation.  Continue reading

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