‘They keep the weeds under control,’ Emile explained when Hannah asked why goats were roaming the graveyard.
‘But don’t they eat the flowers?’
‘People don’t leave flowers here anymore. No one’s been buried here for a hundred years.’ He stooped to avoid a low branch and waited for Hannah on the other side. ‘People can’t be bother with the long since departed. We only see your kind these days.’
‘Yeah, history nuts who prefer the dead to the living.’
‘Oh I don’t-’
‘Makes a change at least. It’s nice to have a little warmth amongst all this stone.’
Your Grandmother lived in this blocked of flats with no elevator, and when she turned sixty your mum tried to make her move out. She stood there, biscuit tin in hand, holding a photo of your Granddad as if your mum was a demon and he was the bible.
‘This is my home!’ she said, and in the end your mother gave up. We cheered. Back then it was easy to side with the little old lady who told us stories and fed us cake.
We didn’t see the grizzly side of getting old. That bit sneaks up on you.