It was dark, dank and rainy here today but my heart was light as I got a letter this morning telling me that my two-yearly routine mammogram with BreastCheck which I only had on Monday afternoon was clear. Nothing can ever, ever be taken for granted, especially health, so that, on top of a good report from my eye specialist yesterday, had me in a heightened sense of appreciation.
I have to admit that I was kinda glad to see plenty of rain over the last day or so because I was a bit concerned about my self-raising flour exploits up at the old graveyard beside Dunhill Castle in recent times. (In case you didn’t read about them and want to they are detailed here.) I was back a few days ago and was slightly worried that there was still some evidence of the flour but the guy on YouTube had said that rain was required to clear the flour.
Anyway, I thought I’d have a walk along the Anne Valley and make my way up to the graveyard just to see if the rain had done the job.
In case you’re interested, the second grave that I read the other day had this inscription on it:
Erected by Peter Phelan in memory
of his Father John Phelan who died
Jan 6th 1792 aged 75 years also his
son Mark who died Dec 12th 1779
aged 27 years
It was interesting to find that this grave, like the first one, bore the name Phelan. I am assuming that there is probably a family connection between the two and suspect that at least some of the other sixteen graves will be Phelan graves as well. It’s not clear from the inscription if the son, Mark, was Peter or John’s son but I originally saw him as being John’s son. Twenty-seven is a very young age to die and I suspect there was great sadness for those who were left behind.
The good news is that the rain has removed the flour ~ almost every bit of it ~ but I think that from now on, I will only use it when the days are very dry and I will bring a soft brush (like Mr YouTube) to dust any excess away.
The whole scene today was very different from my last expedition on November 27th. It seemed like the rain had beaten down much of the undergrowth so it was easier to see the whole shape of the ruined church and to pick out the tombstones.
This is the entrance to the ruined church. I love the solid stonework:
I counted a total of eighteen tombstones today and I think that’s all there are:
The swan family were very much in evidence down on the Anne River. The cygnets have got very grown up and the walk was punctuated with them as they made their way through the very still waters. To me, the cygnets symbolise new life and the cycle of life, especially after time spent up in the old graveyard.
Those who are buried in the graveyard were once young people, a fact which is almost hard to take in given how much time has passed since the 1700s. But, the cycle of life continues …..