The end of a walk, and a thousand voices and a thousand sorrows

30th of May 2008

Thought for the day:-

You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people as you do. – Nicholas de Chamfort writer (1741- 1794)

Today the weather is unforgiving, we are enveloped in a thick sea fret, it seems like a lifetime ago that we were blessed with sunshine, but blessed we were and on the morning of the 20th I drove to Castle Acre to continue my walk along the Peddar’s way with the warm sun on my face. The beginning of this stage of the walk is quite memorable as one walks through the Norman gate……

And from there through the delightful streets of the village and on to the country lane where there is a splendid view of the Norman Priory which stand next to the river where the monks used to supply fish ponds in the Priory grounds. The buildings and foundations cover over 36 acres……..

I’d love a peek back in time to watch all the activity, and I have so many questions to ask…..

The river hasa wooden footbridge, and a ford which I took little notice of at the time. I just took in the view and gloried in the sunshine……

And on I went, past Palgrave and Sporle and a most beautiful stretch of countryside…..

My son made a pertinent remark, “why are woodlands so beautiful in day-light and so frightening in the dark?” I suppose this applies to most places, even our own homes……

A Peddar’s Way monument, the last time I walked this way, many years ago, I could read the inscriptions, now they are covered in lichen and most of the words are impossible to decipher……

I’m not sure if this was a dead snake or a snake skin, either way, I took a wide berth……

My Sunday walk ended at Little Cressingham with its lovely round towered Church and Thatched Cottages….

And a Church yard which appealed to my love of nature….

An SOS for my son Charlie to pick me up and off we set toward home, then things really did get exciting.

We reached the outskirts of Castle Acre where I had parked my car. We were approaching the village when I realised that I had walked that particular very long and narrow lane earlier in the day. At the same time I remembered that there was just a narrow footbridge to cross the river, a second later we spotted a sign DEEP FORD.

“Don’t panic”, says Charlie “this is after all a Land Rover, just hold tight”.

I held tight and closed my eyes. Charlie stopped at the edge of the ford and waited whilst a family, two men, a woman sitting on the bench, two children playing in the water (it really was a hot day) and a grandmother figure took to higher ground. The sign did not exaggerate, the ford is deep, very deep, not only that but there is a deep ledge and we dropped down into the river with some momentum. Charlie, shouted that he didn’t dare stop as he was afraid of getting stuck, so he ploughed on casing a huge bough wave. Opening my eyes I noted that the two men were laughing hysterically, the woman was hastily retrieving bags and towels, the children looked as if we had staged an entertainment just for them, and Grandmother? Grandmother was shaking her fist and cursing…..

on the way home I took this photo of Houghton Hall, with the sheep safely grazing…..

There are literally thousands of bereaved people in this world, this country, this county, this place in which I live. It’s the circle of life, we live and we die. Most of us, but by no means all of us, have friends and family to support us. I suspect that most of us don’t want to worry our friends and families. Most of us become great actors, pasting on a bright smile so those close to us see what, in our hearts, we think that they want to see, indeed maybe what they need to see. It’s ironic that the bereaved can so easily end up by comforting the comforters. Friends have said to me that they can’t bear to see me cry. That Bernard would not have wanted me to grieve, thus adding gilt to the equation. Others suggest that it’s time now to put the past firmly in the past and look to the future, they are right, one should look to the future, but never at the expense of losing the past, the past has made us the people we are, the past is the foundation of our lives, the past contains all the lessons we have learned. The past is still very precious to me…….

Susan x

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