Wednesday, 18 June 2008

A Communist Plot

Funny how an offhand remark can set you thinking. I have been mulling over where to be buried, if at all, ever since the Frenchman posed the question. I hope not to be troubling the diggers or stokers soon but it has made me think, in the early hours of jet-lag induced insomnia, about identity and sense of home and loyalties and indeed, whether it matters if there is an 'x' to mark the spot once one has shuffled off the mortal coil. It is one thing to cheer the French eleven (admittedly only when not against England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland) and quite another to lay down one's death for the adopted homeland. This then leads to another question I am often asked which is why I have never taken French nationality especially as I wouldn't have to give up British nationality to do so. All good questions none of which I can answer without mulling some more.

Strangely the longer I spend in London the more French I feel and the longer I'm in Paris, the more British. Since I'm all cross-Channel, perhaps the suggestion of a scattering somewhere mid-Manche from the Dover-to-Dieppe ferry is an idea, though from experience someone would spoil it by chucking more than ashes. If honest, I think I'd prefer a landmark; a huge, showy mausoleum with angels and cherubs on a well-beaten tourist path so everyone would go: "Who the hell was she?" before returning home to find out. Recognition at last. Père Lachaise would be perfect in between the naughty Victor Noir (all that brass rubbing might be fun) or Oscar Wilde or Molière. Then again, I am morbidly attracted to Highgate Cemetery even though as a south Londoner north of the Thames is bandit country. One of my closest friends and colleagues is buried in Highgate. He was one of the finest foreign reporters of his generation and as generous as he was talented. I wish with all my heart he wasn't there but he has a good spot. He'd have loved it when friends said: "Where's McGrory? Find Marx and turn left."

9 comments:

Jaywalker said...

I think I should be sprinkled in the tiny bin under seat 87 at the end of coach 18 of the Eurostar. That would be fitting. Also, a light dusting of my ashes in the Eurostar coffee could only be an improvement I think.

I presume they don't make children rub brass in France or Belgium. I haven't seen any sign of it. I am sure most of my childhood was spent fighting for the highly prized bronze crayon!

GoneBackSouth said...

I think you should go for the channel but not from a ferry, from a private boat charter with some kind of funereal japes going on onboard. I'm considering the Thames (although it's probably illegal - my relatives might need to do the deed under cover of darkness).

Parisgirl said...

Jaywalker, but then they'd up the price of the Eurostar coffee. Still, if you improved the taste...
Gonebacksouth, I like the sound of "funereal japes".

scotty said...

Recall when covering the 1983 Dennis Nilsen serial killer trial that he used a disposal method that could exact magnificent revenge on those whingeing about the communal plumbing costs in your Paris flat.
Lovely macabre twist was that he mixed the remains with supermarket chickens to fool the Old Bill.
Feel rather chuffed that during the case of Britain's ace strangler I raised a few chuckles in the Press box at the Old Bailey by describing the killer as " A single man with no ties".
Of course, you would need the Frenchman to dispose of your body, but from memory it is not much larger than the average poulet.

Lehners in France said...

I think mid-manche sounds good, but in a casket sunk to the bottom. You could be re discovered in hundreds of years. Debs x

girl with the mask said...

I have often wondered where I would like to be buried or scattered, and I have no idea. A few doors down from Marx would be pretty cool though!

Jaywalker said...

You are so right. But I reckon it would be worth it.

Espresso €2
Café filtre €2,30
Café aux cendres d'eurocrate €3,70

Parisgirl said...

Jaywalker, I was in seat 82 coach 15 and can assure you it's no better. Also made the mistake of buying a "sandwich", at least that's what they said it was. A sprinkling of eurocrat might have added a continental flavour. Correction; might have given it a flavour.

Nora said...

We sprinkled my Dutch sister in law's ashes in the orchard of her French property. Couldn't think of a better spot than the one she loved best. So, I guess it will come to you, there will be a spot you love best and you can be sprinkled there.The French are good sports about that.