Graveyards, often overgrown and ignored, provide fabulous forraging spots for lost stories, of forgotten lives.
That's what Glasgow-born journalist Peter Ross has been doing of late. The result, his new book, 'A Tomb With A View: The stories & glories of graveyards' (£20, Headline Books).
From the forgotten comedian interred in Cathcart Cemetery, to the tale of the 'Gorbals Vampire' - in the Southern Necropolis - Ross has criss-crossed Scotland, England, and Ireland, to dig up moving and memorable stories - pulling back the bracken and brambles to reveal names and tales almost lost to moss and memory.
For a book about death, it's remarkably life-affirming, beautifully written, and made me want to go off to explore my own local cemetery.
Don't just take my word for it, Dame Hilary Mantel, no less, has observed: "This is much more than just a collection of anecdotes, grim and jolly; it is a considered and moving book on the timely subject of how the dead are remembered, and how they go on working beneath the surface of our lives."
The book comes out today, and, thanks to Headline, I have five copies to give away. Just leave a comment on our FB page, and I'll put your name into the Lost Glasgow hat (this time it's a bible-black top hat, complete with a black, lace veil). I'll pull the winners' names on Saturday.
If you don't win a copy, you can buy the book here: https://www.headline.co.uk/titles/peter-ross/a-tomb-with-a-view/9781472267801/