Tag Archives: Highgate Cemetery

New York City London Blog —Through Sept.29

Highgate Cemetery: what do George Eliot, Karl Marx, Corin Redgrave, Ralph Richardson have in common? They’e all buried in Highgate Cemetery. It’s a wild, magical forest filled with topsy-turvy tombstones and prowling cats. An employee, a lone woman we heard then saw cutting off dead branches, told us that being buried at Highgate costs between ten thousand pounds and one hundred thousand pounds. People requested being buried near Karl Marx. if there’s a spot and if you can afford it, it’s yours. What supreme irony.

 

Karl Marx in Highgate Cemetery
Karl Marx in Highgate Cemetery

 

Headstones of (rich) socialists behind Marx’s headstone.
Headstones of (rich) socialists behind Marx’s headstone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a perfect day, 72 degrees and breezy, we walked from the Sevenoaks bus stop down a foot path to the pen meadows and finally arrived at Knole. Wikipedia quotes the National Trust’s claim that at one time it was a calendar house: 365 rooms, 52 staircases, 12 entrances and seven courtyards. Part of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando was set at Knole. I vaguely remember the book was about an English ice age and a main character who changes sex. We strolled through the deer park before heading into town and to fish & chips. For supper we acclimated ourselves for the trip home to NYC and went to Burger & Shake. I had a divine, liquid dessert called Ovaltine and made with the following ingredients: tequila, coconut, rum and caramel. Weight Watches is welcomed to the recipe.

We arrived in Cambridge to find to our horror that we could not walk along the Cam. So, ever resourceful, we were sculled down the Cam to a spot where we climbed out of the boat, not with grace but without incident, and went to the Fitzwilliam Museum.

A part time sculler, full time philosophy student at Cambridge University
A part time sculler, full time philosophy student at Cambridge University

Pelicans in Greenwich, England? We saw a street sign, humped pelican crossing. Hum…pelicans would be strange but humped pelicans? We asked an Englishman to explain the term. Amidst lots of laughs, he explained that humped pelican crossing meant a bumpy  crossing with traffic lights operated by pedestrians. Mr. Wikipedia gave the following explanation: pelican from pe(destrian) li(ght) con(trolled), altered to conform with the bird’s name. Like so many inscrutable things, the term was invented in the 1960s.
If you like an old fashioned night in the theatre and as a child you enjoyed Punch and Judy, The Play that Goes Wrong is for you. The man to my left at the Duchess Theatre laughed wholeheartedly, delighted at every prat fall, collapsing ceiling, doors smacking people in the face etc. The timing was flawless. Silly fun.

I had to get the Globe out of my system. The Globe is the umbrella term for the recreated theatres from Shakespeare’s time situated along the Thames’ embankment. From St. Paul’s we walked a few blocks to the Thames and crossed on the Millennium Bridge as the sun was setting. I had bought the tickets for The Two Gentlemen of Verona online in NYC. Next time, if there is a next time, I’ll wait until I can go to the theatre. We sat on benches in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. For the most part I stared at mechanical devices and modern day rock equipment in a space that was supposed to be an authentic reproduction of a Shakespearean theatre. Shakespeare’s words and cadence were the least important part of the production.

Back to NYC…