Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Neighborhood Funeral

We had some unusual goings-on in the neighborhood yesterday -- a funeral procession!

I'd heard more than a week ago from our next-door neighbors that a man in another part of our complex had died. He was no one I knew. I'm not sure I'd even seen him before. At any rate, I suppose that's who the services were for yesterday.

I was working in our flat when I heard the clop-clop of horse hooves. I thought maybe the horses were back -- but no, these were different horses, clop-clopping up the side street and turning into our parking area with a hearse in tow. They attracted a great deal of attention from the tourists on Portobello Road.

Behind the horse-drawn hearse, which already contained the casket, a line of empty black cars pulled up. A group of my neighbors, mostly in black, stood outside the building near a few dozen bouquets spread on the grass. The drivers collected the chrysanthemums and gladioli and loaded them onto the first car in the procession.

Meanwhile, everyone else climbed into the rest of the cars, and soon enough, off they all went, down Portobello Road. I suppose it's not much different from your average funeral procession in the U.S. -- except for the plumed horses and the carriage with its top-hatted drivers, which gave everything a sombre Victorian air.

In other news:

-- Hours after I posted my Star Trek entry, Mike, Sally and I also watched a few episodes of the old animated Star Trek series, which ran on Saturday mornings in the early '70s. I remember watching it as a kid, and in particular I've always remembered an episode in which the Enterprise flies into an alternate universe, where space is white and the stars are black. Neato! We found that 1974 episode and watched it again. It's a much better show than you'd think for a cartoon, with some of the same writers as the original series and all the original actors doing their characters' voices.

-- Little London Observationist posted a slew of my London storefront photos yesterday, and they're scheduled to use another of my photos tomorrow. Sweet!


  1. No. You'd never see a funeral procession like that here, would you? Those horses are SO black.
    Thanks for sharing the pictures, the experience.
    And congratulations on your pictures being published! Your photos are really, really good, you know.

  2. Nice. The plumes and top hats are so right.

    I love TNG - my favorite of the multiple Star treks. I love that vision of the future, that we are explorers still, but peaceful, diplomatic explorers. The frost star trek is kitschy but it's basically a western in which our love of fist fights stretches on into perpetuity!


  3. Ok I am sure it was a sad and somber moment/ time for the family, but it's wonderful you were able to witness it. I know I would have to stop and watch. :)


  4. What an awesome funeral! FANCY! I hope that "DAD" appreciated the expense and effort!

  5. Wow, what a sight: black horses with plumes, and carriages as I imagine them 150 years ago. I wonder how often you will see this in London.

    I have enjoyed skimming through your blog, just as our mutual friend Reya predicted I would. Great photos!

  6. What a neat funeral procession!

    How did I miss that there was a cartoon? I probably wouldn't have been interested then. I was 10 - who knows what would have caught my eye then!

  7. Oh, that "DAD" floral arrangement brings it home, doesn't it? It reminds me of the footage of Princess Diana's funeral, where one of the bouquets on her casket was labeled "Mummy": a reminder that this person meant all the world to loved ones.

  8. I'd like to think that my funeral would consist of neon yellow and fancy dress. Shame about the social norm ....