Slept in today for preparation of going back home. Made my way north on the Northern line to get off at the Archway stop to go to London's most famous graveyard, Highgate Cemetery. Its a bit of a walking distance, with a nice walk through Waterlow park with the most green I have seen all week. Highgate Cemetery is split into two parts, the West and East. The West Cemetery during the week is open by tour only at 2pm. I went to the gates at 10 am to find out it was booked full. I was a bit disappointed, but went across the street to the East one. You pay 4 pounds and get a map of famous people who are buried there such as Karl Marx (1818-1883) and the writer of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams (1962-2001). The graveyard is in a forest covered with ivy. It was really beautiful and creepy at the same time. Gravestones from the 1800's were so worn you could not read them. There are a lot of stone angels, crosses and statues. The Map says that the Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust try to balance the appearance of romantic decay with the needs of conservation. Some statues were toppled over onto other graves and I wondered if people in that family are still alive today to fix it. I wandered around noticing birds that I have not seen before and some doves jumping up in fright from the brush, flapping their wings like out of some horror movie haha. People still can be buried there and I saw some recent graves mixed in with the old ones. The cemetery is huge and you could easily spend two hours wandering around in the forest.
I decided to jump off at the Camden Market tube stop on my way back into Westminster. My friend Roger told me I had to check it out. The tube station is right at the heart of the coolest market I have been to. At the beginning there are a lot of t-shirts with Bansky art on them, I bought a couple for Ab and Marcos that made me chuckle. There are a lot of punk, goth and piecing shops. The food area of the market was awesome near the Lock where small river boats/homes are tied off. Then there was this cool under the bridge/ brick tunnel/ previous horse stable/maze of cool artisians and flea market shops. I spent a lot of money. I was in bag heaven. I even bought Ab a man bag like all the men on the tube have, a nice dark grey canvas satchel. I also bought a Bansky man and woman hard hat divers sitting at a restaurant table under the ocean in a nice med sized canvas frame. I had to leave before I spent more money. On the way out I bought some fresh squeezed orange juice in the cutest plastic jug for a pound. The guy selling it said he gets that comment a lot.
Went back to my hotel to drop off all my purchases, and almost ran in excitement to the Thames shore to do my last day of Mudlarking. Low tide would be at 730 pm. I went to my favourite spot and found some more intact clay pipe bowls and I started trying to figure out what pins looked like. There are so many nails, it was hard to tell what size the pins were for closing your clothes before there there was buttons. I met a few people who came up to me and asked me "any good bits?" One man I started chatting to about pins said he was a official (one out of 50) Mudlarker. He gives tours , and asked me if I would be here tomorrow. OF COURSE IM GOING BACK HOME. You need to record your finds with the portable antiquities scheme for a certain amount of time and its a special permit that allows you to dig holes and metal detect on the foreshore. He pointed to sticks sticking up in the shore and said that's places where we have dug holes so we dont go back to them. I have a standard foreshore permit which allows me to scrape to a depth of 3 inches, but the area I am in was so much fun, I didnt go to an area far away where I could scrape. He told me you have to look for black sand to find the pins and a bit later he came up to me and gave me some. they were super tiny I would never of noticed. I showed him an s shaped piece of metal and he said it belongs to this, and he took out of his bucket a small hook and eye piece. He told me I could have it, he had so many. I just looked at him with those giant anime quivering eyes and said "really?? thank you!!"
It was an exciting end of my trip for me, just as my eyes are getting used to spotting small items, I have to go back home. I hope I can come back some day again to Mudlark. Tomorrow morning (5 hours from now) I make my way back to Canada. If you liked my blog entries for this trip click on like button to see some red hearts float up or leave a comment below. Thanks so Much :0
- Day one Big Ben and pickles on every sandwich
- Day 2 When you sing your pray to God twice
- Day three: Human remains, Shakespeare and warm Beer
- Day 4: Tower of London,off to Hogwarts and shopping in China Town
- Day 5: Diana's funeral, Blame it on the Boogie and The Lettuce and Slug
- Day 6 Victorian-Graves Camden Market and an awesome day of mudlarking