|Cimetiere de Terre-Cabade, Toulouse, France
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
I rose early on Tuesday and washed down my breakfast with lovely hot chocolate as quickly as possible so I could visit this cemetery before the workshop started. It was a beautifully clear, chilly morning. The wind nipped my nose and cheeks as I crossed the river and hurried up the hillside to find it. I took a different route than the one I’d tried the previous night, and as a result I failed again to find the main entrance. Instead, I happened across a hole in the wall guarded by a lone flower-seller who smiled cheerily at me as she arranged her bouquets.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the cemetery busy and incredibly well kept. Unlike the Parisian cemeteries, few, if any, notables who are known outside the region, let alone France, are buried here. Many tombs showed evidence of recent familial visits - fresh or slightly fading flowers, careful sweeping of dead leaves, moss-free stone. Elderly persons pottered around wielding secateurs and large watering cans. With few exceptions, all graves conformed to a similar style. Rows of cabinets stood like apartment buildings along scaled-down streets. Imagine having your relatives stowed neatly in drawers. *opens one* “This is my Uncle Jean, in the smallest space he could fit since he was three years old.” *shuts drawer, opens adjacent one* “And this is my Great Aunt Axelle. It’s nice to be the one talking when I visit her. I still get a thrill out of being able to do this.” *slams drawer*
Ahem. Anyway, I behaved as reverently as possible while the above scenarios played out in my mind. And I took lots of photos, of which I shall inflict only a few on you.
The City of the Dead