It was my mum's birthday on the 13th of October, she would have been 86. Mum is buried with her mum and two of her sisters in St Pancras and Islington Cemetery, East Finchley. My friend lives near the cemetery and left a trowel, fork and gardening gloves outside her home so I could tidy the grave.
Two years have passed since my last visit and I was bracing myself for a task, but it wasn't too overgrown. Years before my sister and I added compost to the grave and the soil was rich and loose, teaming with worms, in contrast to the London clay of the site. I saw a jay, robin and heard parakeets in the trees - a sure sign of being in London.
After weeding I stood and sang a song to mum, an artwork I'm developing.
Burial sites are so important to my work and it was grounding to tend my mum's grave on her birthday.