Friday, 11 September 2009

A Nightingale Sang

It's been a day of two halves. This morning we were careering along the M27 during the 'rush hour', on our way to and from Sainsbury's. We arrived with a list and when we left, our obligatory wobbly trolley also had a the left if I remember correctly.

Surely an experience like that should carry a health warning for grandfathers? Or is it my natural aversion to the shopping experience? Probably the latter.

Anyway, as an antidote to fast-lane traffic (on the motorway and in supermarket aisles) we decided to visit our favourite country pub for lunch.The Lamb was busy but not packed to overflowing. This meant that we could enjoy a leisurely meal in the garden with the sun shining and only one annoying wasp on a continuous aerial reconnaissance of my side-salad.

Watered and fed, we set off along the lanes for home. Then for some reason, perhaps still needing a little extra consolation after our shopping excursion, we headed for nearby East Wellow and somewhere we hadn't been for over 30 years; the Parish Church of St. Margaret of Antioch, the resting place of Florence Nightingale.

We were greeted  at the gate of the 13th century place of worship with the song of a solitary Robin, and when the music stopped, all was completely silent. A totally peaceful place.



There is local rumour that the isolated position of the church is in some way connected to plague, a flea-borne infection carried by rats. Nowadays, though, these tranquil surroundings offer a temporary shelter from a different kind of plague. That which is in many ways connected to the 'rat race'.

© 2009, copyright Martin T. Hodges


  1. Thirteenth century churches seem always to exude a special air of calm. Maybe it's something which comes with age...

  2. That's so true Jinksy.

    Maybe more people would benefit if they only had time. The pace we live at now is frightening.

  3. What a very good idea, to round off a morning of supermarket shopping with a visit to the countryside and a peaceful church. Shopping is horrible, nerve-fraying and stressful, stopping off for refreshment of body and soul is well-deserved afterwards.

  4. That's just how we felt Friko. Making the time for a moment out of 'the loop' is essential in our book.

    When I was working, I always tried to take a walk off-campus after my lunch. A change of scene and a chance to purge my system of those pointless meetings.


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