I am typing this with only 7.5 days left to work in my current role, and experiencing being incredibly let down by my immune system. I think a busy weekend and start of the week has got to me, but I’m still revelling in all the excitement and coping quite well, even with a brain that won’t stop churning over everything while denying me any sleep. So, less of talking about me currently, I must update you on what happened in the last week!
On Saturday my oldest friend Rachel and I went to the British Museum for the afternoon. When I was studying archaeology at UCL, the British Museum was where I spent a lot of my spare time that wasn’t spent in the pub. I used to walk through it on my way to university, and I often used the loo there if necessary after my hour long tube journey. It will always be a home from home, so it was very fitting and thoughtful that my friend would buy me afternoon tea there for my 30th birthday. The tea was lovely and the sugar intake was incredibly welcome for a wander around the museum after. We looked at the Egyptian mummies, the Sutton Hoo helmet, the Lewis chessmen, the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon Marbles… all of the awesome delights of that place that kind of feel like old friends to me. I’ll be honest, since starting this blog I keep seeing death in everything I do and thinking of what blog articles I can write which is utterly dark, but I’m finding it really fun. Nevertheless, that museum is so full of funerary artefacts and actual deceased people and animals that it’s hard to not see the obvious relevance to this blog. It’s the most visited museum in London (I think!) and it’s brilliant that it’s crammed full of sarcophagi, actual mummies or grave relics. Check out the museum website for more information here.
One of my favourite rooms at this museum is the Wellcome Collection Living and Dying exhibition in the back of the museum where there is a large table-like structure in the middle. This is the ‘Cradle to Grave’ art installation which shows the medication the average person would take in their life and the kind of milestones this reflects. Every time I see this, I have to take it in properly because it’s so fascinating. More information on this here if you’re interested here.
We left there not long before it was due to close, and then wandered around Fitzrovia on a mini pub-crawl (we are classy ladies I assure you) and ended up in Wahaca. While admiring the large mirror in the shape of a skull in a top hat and the little woman in a dress with beautiful hair and a skull face signalling the female toilets, it occurred to me that I’m just seeing the death in everything I see. Or maybe I did before; I just have a greater awareness of that now. Again I’m aware this is dark, while amusing and oddly comforting it’s still dark.
Sunday was possibly the best day I have had in quite some time, marginally beating the day I found out I got the mortuary job. I am a big fan of a podcast show called Wooden Overcoats which is a comedy drama based around a funeral home on a fictional channel island called Piffling. My partner told me to listen to it because he knew I would love it and it took me far too long to get around to it. However, by the time I was about halfway through the first episode I had downloaded the entire thing and devoured it all in two days straight. I love it so much because, very simply, it is a great comedy which makes me giggle insanely. The setting, the cast, the writing, everything about this podcast is perfect. As it turns out, give me a couple of pints and I will (albeit quite anxiously) even tell the head writer of the podcast that fact.
On Sunday afternoon, the ‘Wooden Overcoats’ team put on a live show at the London Podcast Festival in King’s Cross. We went along to see the show and arrived a little bit before it started, so grabbed a drink and headed outside to have a look at the canal outside. This is where we met a lovely fellow fan, Selene, who we were chatting to and I sat next to during the show. The show was as wonderful as I imagined and then, somehow, through a series of unbelievable events we ended up talking to the cast. The original (ooh giving away some of the plot!) funeral home on Piffling is run by twins Rudyard and Antigone Funn. From the start I felt a lot in common with Antigone, which says a lot about me if you listen and know what she’s like. If you don’t, I want more people to listen to it so I’m giving as little away as possible and please go listen! I had the great privilege, in particular, of meeting Beth Eyre who plays Antigone, who is lovely and I am still chuffed to absolute bits that I got to speak to her. I might be dark like Antigone, but that doesn’t matter and only makes for some interesting, albeit socially awkward, conversations. Go find out more about the podcast here. Ciara Baxendale, myself & Beth Eyre
Sunday ended, and I was sat in a Five Guys with my newest friend Selene, my partner, a grilled cheese and the biggest grin on my face. I swear I’m worried that if I keep Cheshire Cat-grinning all the time I might stay this way.
I would like to say a massive thank you to the Head Writer of Wooden Overcoats David K. Barnes for sharing this blog on Twitter and I hope that in future I can be of help for some plot writing inspiration in any way I can!
As always, please leave comments, like the post, and ask any kind of questions you might have. It’s been great to hear feedback from people so far and thank you so much for reading.