It all went very well until the lunch stop. The sun shone; the blackberries we intended to gather in the afternoon were abundant; the path was clear. Fab.
Two year ago, Celia and I did this same walk. In my mind at least, it is the Dead Mothers Walk, as for both of us it had been the summer when our mothers died, and this walk was our day away from normal life and its demands.
Roydon Hall, where once the Maharishi held sway, is still for sale, and had very tasty blackberries we could reach through the fence.
The views were splendid.
We walked and talked. I probably talked the most, coming as I do from a family when talking is something we do a lot.
Time takes on a different quality when you put on your boots and head out for the day. We were in the most populated part of the country and we hardly met a soul. Though for some, being in the country is an opprtunity for violence.
I saw a rabbit, a large one, hopping away from us in the woods. There were deer that watched us warily from a safe distance, and this bird had flown.
I would imagine it was a fairly small bird that had chosen this spot, and I had to admire its choice of location.
It was surprising how much of the route we remembered, and arriving at St Michael’s was like seeing an old friend.
The organist let us in, and as we looked and read he played.
Light fltered through the open door.
In the churchyard, Margaret Wild’s memorial shone in the September sun.
I spotted this.
Celia liked the lichen.
We sat on the same grave we sat on two years ago and ate day-old Eccles cakes. It was already one o’clock. Time to head for the pub where we hoped to have lunch.
This, just beyond the church, by a path that proved impassable due to nettles, should have told us that our plans were about to be thrown off course.