Taphophilia

photo I took while living in Palmerston North

I recently read a novel, The Restorer, whose main character is a graveyard restorer. Now, I have always had a thing for graveyards. I love the peace and tranquility. I think they are beautiful, and one of the least scary places in the world. In my teens I spent a lot of time in cemeteries, my friends and I would do the rounds, clear weeds from graves, leave flowers at others and check in on all the angels.

In my twenties I spent a lot of time photographing in graveyards – there are so many beautiful things to capture. There was one near my home when I lived in Palmerston North that I used to sit in for hours at a time, writing, or just enjoying the atmosphere. I’ve visited graveyards just about everywhere I’ve been. Small, large, old, new – they all interest me. I love reading epitaphs, pondering how people might have died. I have even considered trying to find work in a graveyard because I just love hanging out in them so much.

also taken in Palmerston North

Since having kids, I haven’t had a chance to keep up with my graveyard visits, but this book reawakened a sleeping passion, and now I have a name for it! Taphophilia! I am a Taphophile. I love it when I learn something new from reading fiction. It was so cool to find a main character who isn’t a ‘goth’ that also loves cemeteries.

I am going to take the kids for a wander sometime when the sun returns. It’s been far too long since I payed my great aunt May a visit.

These photos were developed the old school way, by myself, at UCOL. Mmm developing chemicals. Now that I think about it, they were probably some of the last photos I took on actual film.

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4 thoughts on “Taphophilia

  1. Wow, you just taught me a new word! Awesome! πŸ™‚ Do you read Alannah Murphy’s blog? She had a post a while back about Highgate Cemetery: http://sinisterechoes.com/2010/12/07/undead-in-london-highgate-cemetery/

    Funny about the film… DH was one of the school newspaper photographers when we were in high school in the 80s. He and the other fellow did the development themselves, too. I always liked hanging out in the darkroom with them. That makes me sound slutty, but really, the three of us were just good friends at the time. πŸ™‚ There’s a definite lure to the developing chemicals…. πŸ™‚

  2. Wow, I never knew that word either. I used to explore graveyards a fair bit as well. The only ones I’ve ever found remotely creepy are the war graves in Normandy – the size and the uniformity… yeah, there’s just something about that.

  3. OMG! I can’t believe you still have them! OHOHOHOH So have to get the pics I took at you at that little cottage out (The ones with the creepy hand prints all over the wall) I also have those photos you took of me holding that flower in front of the big bush in the square. Random much?

    BTW … probably the last film photos I’ll take too. I love my dslr too much to go back haha.

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