Pictorial blethers

By blethers

In a country churchyard

As that crashingly obvious title for this blip occurred to me, I felt I needed to look again at the poem by Thomas Gray to which it refers. Funny - I actually can't stand the poem, despite the fact that it's "full of quotations" - a joke we used to make when we studied Hamlet for the first time, or went to see a performance of Dr Faustus. Anyway, tonight's visit to have a look at it for perhaps the first time since my schooldays confirmed me in my dislike of poetic diction and patronising sentimentality ...

Gosh. All this being locked up (though I'm not, as this photo shows) is clearly making me grumpy. I had a morning of unparalleled domesticity (started another sourdough loaf, made lentil soup to use up bottom-of-the-fridge vegetables), interspersed with phone calls (my sister, my pal). At some point in the afternoon the caged lioness in me drove me to clean the bath - and it was after that that I realised that, weekend or no, people out walking or no, I needed air. We had a strange walk, in a large semi-circle with our house at the centre of it: up to the back of town, just onto the hillside, skirting round by the field where we used to take the boys sledging (far too many gorse bushes there now!) and into the first section of the Bishop's Glen. There we climbed steeply down into the gorge and equally steeply up the other side (meeting man with dog, carefully pausing and using different paths in a strange little dance), and back down, ending up once more in the soothing peace of our churchyard. 

And that's where the blip comes from. The graves in this small bit (in front of the six-fingered angel, if you're interested) seem to have belonged to wealthier parishioners, with their larger stones and walled plots. Chiefly, however, they have this great bed of daffodils in full bloom, with the enormous red rhododendron in front of the Rectory just visible through the trees. Ten minutes later we were home. We'd met one man, and seen a family through the trees. Isolation maintained. Nothing for the moping owl to complain about ...

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