Thursday, November 10, 2011

Walking

I'm walking every day still - well, almost every day.  Sometimes alone, sometimes with Grace.  And when we're together, it's pleasant to stop for lunch at a pub or restaurant at the half-way mark.  We stopped at "The Moorings" in Crick the other day.  It's right next to ABNB at Crick Wharf, where we bought Kantara, and we'd already been in a couple of times.  But whereas before we had dined in a quite acceptable pub-style room, this time we were taken upstairs to a very well-appointed restaurant room, and enjoyed an excellent roast lamb dish, followed by ginger sponge and ice-cream.  The walk home afterwards was a little slower than the outward stride!



I walked on my own another day to Clay Coton, a few miles along the road from Yelvertoft.  It has an unusual old church, and I thought I might go in and look, as we often at churches when out walking. I passed through the gate and down the footpath, with gravestones dominating the land on both sides, and came to the porch.  The expected heavy wooden door stood in front of me, so I turned the ancient handle, opened the door, and stepped inside.  All was not quite right.  There were no pews.  There was a raised floor almost the entire length and breadth of the knave, with various furniture scattered sparsely over it.  A radio was playing loudly, the voice of a woman being interviewed on the telephone.  And, to my left, again several feet above ground level, was a glass wall, behind which sat a man at a desk, at a computer, and wearing large headphones.  A radio studio? I wondered.  Not wishing to disturb, I hurried out quietly, only to be stopped a few seconds later by said man, still wearing headphones and looking quite annoyed. There was a stern, "What do you want?", and I explained that I had thought that this was a church, a public building, and that I might wander around inside.  This was met by a very curt, "This is a private home", and I could not resist pointing out to him that there was no getting away from the fact that it looked so much like a church it just had to be one, and that there was no sign to say that it was anything else.  He was unimpressed by my logic, and went inside, slamming the door behind him.  People, eh?  I just hoped he wasn't the vicar.


This phenomenon is explained in just two lines in Wikipedia, which describe sombrely the decline of the village... "The village is dominated by the mediaeval former church of St. Andrews. Built in 1340, it fell into disuse in the 1950s and was renovated as a private house in 2000. However the surrounding graveyard still has public access.  Until 2002, despite the small size of the village, it included a pub, called the 'Fox and Hounds'; it was later renamed the 'Fox'. The Fox was renowned for its folk music nights and cask ales.  Like the church, it has now been converted to a private house."

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