Oh what a busy bee I've been this week. It began with me exploring some of the great Cistertian abbeys in Yorkshire; today, I've been perambulating with Ragged Ramblers in north Suffolk; on Wednesday, meanwhile, I travelled with Mr Many Coats to south west Norfolk. It is this latter journey I wish to focus on here.
One of the churches we stopped at was Carleton Rode (pictured above).
"Looks promising..." observed Mr Many Coats as we peered over the wall with a tingle of anticipation putting spring into our steps.
To our suprise, upon entering the church we witnessed a hive of activity as people busied themselves with what turned out to be preparations for an exhibition of quilts and flowers (brilliant combination!).
Being of a gregarious disposition, we were soon chatting to the volunteers about their work. Although we have no hands-on experience of quilt making or flower arranging, we Ragged Ramblers give full respect to the makers of things - especially when - as in this case - it is an expression of community pride that brings people together.
"Lovely surprise!" I exclaimed to Mr Many Coats as we stepped through the open north door and into the graveyard.
Within a few paces we met with more serendipity, for there before us stood a gravestone of elegant proportions that drew us towards it.
What a lovely tribute: a fine collection of adjectives for someone who was clearly dearly loved. I never had the good fortune to meet Keith Vaughan, but, on the basis of this memorial, I sure wish I had.
Having joked about the list of words that might sum us up once we are departed, we walked in silence, draped in the gentle warmth of Autumnal sunshine as we contemplated the generous feelings Keith had inspired. I can't speak for Mr Many Coats, but it certainly made me reflect on the importance of a life well lived.
~ Munro Tweeder-Harris Esq. ~