Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Graveyard Love

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet."
~ Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

As I survey my ever-expanding blogroll (partly due to this thread I started over at PFFA), I can't helping wondering at the vast array of names people have for themselves and their blogs. How exactly does this chap resemble a large aquatic mammal? And, likewise, I know for a fact that this chap is not a whale at all, because I've seen him and he wasn't large or wet or blubbery enough. Likewise I doubt that this chap is really a garden ornament.

Over the years I've had more online aliases than I can count on my fingers and toes, pretty much one for every website, and I still change it regularly on MSN and My MySpace as circumstances and/or mood dictate. Thinking back... I started on my first Hotmail account as Flutterbunny, an unfortunate pet name my mother had given me. Mummy's nicknames became something of a tradition: Dolly Daydream, Dolloppy Daydreamer, Flossie, which is the favourite at home at the moment and my current MySpace name. At twelve I became Joyful Girl Zero, from this poem (yes, yes, I cringe). That one stuck, as did some friends' nicknames: Laulia, The Bardic Princess. All those at PFFA know me as Empty Chairs, which I conveniently pinched off someone else. I've also, over the years, been Sleepless, Ellen of the Ways, Whalesong, An Angry Girl, Graveyard Girl, Persephone, Electra, January Girl, Raggedy Ann, Child Owlet, Ruby Tuesday, Little Lights, Emma Miranda, Lament, Cornflake Girl, Hummingbird and Cooksferry Queen.

The Library Princess, however, is actually a first. It, of course, fits in with my intention for this to be primarily a literary blog. It also hearkens back to the days in Year 11 when, as something of a social outcast, I spent every break time alone in the library, either reading poetry (if it was a good day) or crying (if it was a bad day). I became very well acquainted with Emily Bronte and Christina Rossetti. In sixth form, I became happier and healthier, made friends and stopped hanging out in the library. But since coming to uni, I've found that, once again, I'm something of a loner and I'm, once again, The Library Princess. We have the most gorgeous library, though in its grandeur it lacks the cosiness, and, alas, no solitude either.

Another favourite "haunt" of mine is graveyards. (God, I'm witty.) In Year 11, I spent my days in the library and my evenings in the graveyard on Southampton Common. Similarly, I always used to stop at the churchyard on my way home from junior school and, in sixth form, on bad days, I went to the one just down the road. I know this qualifies me as deeply odd. Somehow in the depths of a depression I feel closer to the dead than the living. And it's a little like human contact without the difficulties of social interaction.

You can see, then, why I fell in love with this blog, devoted entirely to photographs of graveyards. I've always loved taking photos, partly because I'm convinced I'd be a passable artist, if only I could draw. I'm going to splash out on a digita camera - something I've been wanting to do for years - and start doing photography properly. Just as soon as my student loan comes through. There's this wonderful cemetery near my uni, which I pass every day on the bus, and I always see the arch of the winter trees and long for a camera. I've held back from exploring the cemetery 'til I get it. And then I can remember my first taste of that delicious solitude and scenery. There's woods nearby too. I love woods just as much as graveyards! Cookie inspires me with her photos, as does Elle. Watch this space!

5 comments:

Scotty said...

Hiya Laura,

it's funny you should mention cemeteries as I was just thinking about my Mum last night. She's buried in the Ingham Cemetery (my home town)and the cemetery there is actually listed as a tourist attraction because of its mausoleums of marble, some with Gothic features and parapets even.

I can't imagine what it must be like to be visiting the grave of someone you love and have a busload of tourists rock up and start taking photos...

Scotty said...

PS - I forgot to add http://www.hinchinbrook.qld.gov.au/services/Health/Cemetery.shtml so you could see what I was referring to...

Decidedly Bookish said...

Gosh, that looks very different to our cemeteries. The ones I'm used to are mainly stone and grass.

Nicole said...

Happy to have you visit my blog and read away if you would like. I just hope I don't paint too dim of a picture. It's really not as bad as it sounds, just as long as you remember to breathe. No small feat.

Nic said...

This chap is actually a chapess (chapa?). Blog name is from Hamlet making fun of Polonius in II/ii of Hamlet, nothing to do with actual whales, heh. But yes, curious how folk pick names for themselves...