Today we turned our back on the West Country in order to drive home. What a glorious week of Indian Summer it’s been! We have spent these last three nights in the great comfort of Caroline’s cousin’s old house overlooking the Atlantic Ocean: their informal garden - tables and chairs covered with lichen - spills out onto fields full of sheep and Red Devon cattle, grazing right to the cliff top near Willapark. John, a naturalist to his fingertips, set a light trap on Saturday night which caught moths galore in the freak conditions. Old Fr. Storey is still the priest at St Paul’s Tintagel – as he was when I first came to Welltown with Caroline in 1976.
Addendum: We canvassed with John the possibility of having decided - as part of our carbon awareness - not to travel all the way down to Cornwall for Jeremy Faull's funeral. He responded later, by email:
Brooding about the challenges of remote understanding, I came across this stanza from Philip Larkin and his Going, Going poem of 1972:
And that will be England gone,
The shadows, the meadows, the lanes.
The guildhalls, the carved choirs.
There’ll be books; it will linger on
In galleries; but all that remains
For us will be concrete and tyres.
A different sort of distance, but it left me wondering, could we really have experienced St. Breock and its carved benches without being there?