Image by Lozzy Bones Art

Death and the Maiden is a new project created by Lucy Talbot and Sarah Troop.

In their words:

The founders’ aim with this project is to create a space of exploration: examining the relationship between women & death by sharing ideas & creating a platform for discussion. They hope to create a supportive and inclusive community, and to amplify the voices of those actively creating the future of death.”

I was so pleased they asked me to contribute by writing their inaugural post.

My guest post, WOMEN IN THE MOURNING, can be found HERE


Nestled in a corner of buildings behind the Henry VIII gates in West Smithfield is the Grade II Listed Victorian built Barts Pathology Museum the home of three mezzanine galleries of medical specimens.

This week there were hearts everywhere.

From the carefully curated anatomical hearts that looked as if they might once again beat inside their glass specimen containers,

to the artwork of Robin Lee, whose hearts hang gloriously from the third floor.

A lively crowd arrived on Wednesday night for my alternative Valentine presentation.

I baked heart shaped Southern cheese biscuits. A few of them died in the flaming fires called The Timer Did Not Go Off Fires. But thankfully most survived.


The Superhero Volunteers kept a private stash under the table.


And to quench the thirst brought about by the salty cheddar and hot cayenne, the good people at Hendrick's Gin sent over a load of goodness. GIN PUNCH!

The same Superhero Volunteers created this beautiful table brightened by Valentine cards made by Lozzy Bones Art - alternatively smashing. 

I brought along a heart that I had made especially for the evening, full of marshmallow and covered in edible rose petals.

We gave the skeleton a heart transplant.  I grabbed a chunk from this specimen and chewed a mouthful during my presentation, to illustrate a point about eating one’s heart out.


All of these hearty things occurred due to the tireless work of the woman on the left, whose name, and I really mean this, is Carla Valentine, the curator of Barts.

An interview with Carla will soon be posted on this blog.  To say she’s an interesting woman would be an understatement.

After all the snacking and drinking the audience settled in their seats and the room went dark – both literally and otherwise when I began my presentation on...

Afterwards, the wonderful people from Waterstones London Wall kindly sold the first copies of the UK paperback edition of my memoir THE UNDERTAKER'S DAUGHTER, which was mighty good of them.

 Happy Alternative Valentine’s Day