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Bristol , United Kingdom
I'm co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Tuesday 4 April 2017

Hearses, Nurses and Curses of Affliction

Last Saturday there was an exhibition of Victorian medical photos of largely undiagnosed conditions at our local Victorian garden cemetery. A must see for my retired nurse friend, Cathy, and me. Or so we decided.

Upon our arrival at our designated parking spot, we stopped to enjoy the great views from the other, less familiar side of our home city, including the Clifton Suspension Bridge in the distance ... 

... and Vale Street, Totterdown, which is apparently the steepest residential road in the country. 

We didn't have to walk up it, however. Our route took us along here. 

First, we had a poke around in one of the crypts, where lots of redundant grave paraphernalia  had been stored. 

Outside, I learnt what Dru Marland's Morris Traveller wants to be when it grows up. 

There was also a Chevrolet with swagged curtains and a coronet of funerary bling in incredibly bad taste welded to the roof. 

This is the Reverend John Adey Pratt checking the shower is warm enough.  

Not Ted.

After a cup of tea and a shared slice of lemon drizzle cake in the sunny garden of the cemetery cafe, we finally came across the exhibition.

It was rather small, which was just as well, as I'm not sure how I feel about it, really. Of the ten photos on display, one or two people appeared to have conditions which would be easily rectified today - extensive varicose veins and webbed fingers. Another seemed to be suffering from hyperthyroidism.  

The rest were more difficult to contemplate. Obviously the subjects are all long dead, but looking at photos of them did feel prurient. I won't share them here. 

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