I am filming with Bernard Underdown, Gravedigger of the Year, at Deerton Natural Burial Ground. We are standing beside one of Bernard’s freshly-dug graves talking with ever-so over-egged animation about graveyard myths and superstitions. We exhaust the topic, look over to the camera, and the cameraman says, “Lovely. Perfect. Again, please.” In answer to our mildly miffed expressions he explains, “Car. That car. Sorry.” The noise of a passing car has intruded on the microphone. Bernard and I dig deep into our reserves of flagging spontaneity and reprise.
On the other side of the burial ground I see five people arrive, then stand and survey the ground and chat contemplatively. It is starting to rain and they put their umbrellas up.
One of the group detaches herself and comes over to us. It is Wendy Godden-Wood, the owner. Bernard and I come to the end of our re-take. We’re on a continuous loop now, we ready ourselves to start again. The cameraman says “Great. That’ll do.”
Wendy explains that the four people have come to buy plots. They are mooching, looking for the spot they like best, the spot where they’d like to spend eternity.
People say we’re a death-denying nation. Don’t know about that.