I happen to know that subsidence is a bit of a problem in Hammersmith, probably to do with the geology of a riverside area. But the instability of the terrain is spectacularly evident in the cemetary behind Charing Cross Hospital. Look at the skewiffity:
There are kissing crosses, tumbled obelisks, undulating grave plots and rickety crosses. This is a freeze-frame still from an earthquake disaster film. And it must be a nightmare for gravediggers, what with the peril of drowning in the quicksand under 6ft.
But somehow there is something wonderfully poetic here. The Edwardian pertness of the writing contrasts with the chaotic dilapidation.
Perhaps someday the council will get round to doing something to level things out. What am I talking about, this isn’t the 19th century where gravediggers would polish their spades at the end of the day. Perhaps this is really what that underlying contrast signifies – the old world of grandiose, sublimely egotistical monuments and the modern world of council budgeting and… well… wonkiness. Anyway, I am glad for a bit of preserved decline: rectilinearity is as boring as school assembly.