Thursday, 11 February 2010


Am back from my glorious mini-break in Cornwall - which ticked all the right boxes. The sun shone. The sea alternatively glittered/pounded/rhymically mesmerised. And made me feel very grateful as I lay tucked up in a warm bed, listening to the never-ending movement of the waves. Sometimes I take warmth and security too much for granted.....

On a long walk, we came across a beautiful little church - made famous because an illustrious person is buried there. Any idea who it might be?

Need a closer look?

The clue is in the title of this post.....


  1. Now, would this illustrious person be someone who said 'I am still reeling with delight at the soaring majesty of Norfolk'? And who waxed lyrical over our wonderful medieval churches? ;o)

    Glad you had a lovely time. And lucky, lucky you having no snow!

  2. I may be wrong - I saw this church in a wonderful book of illustrations few time ago (I love art!) and I think it's St. Enodoc Church located to the village of Trebetherick.
    The poet John Betjeman is buried there.

    Wonderful place to gather the right inspiration, glad you had a lovely time.

    Sometimes you just need the right place at the right time... as when I was deeply inspired by a wonderful little cruise around Sorrento coast.
    Amalfi, Positano, Ravello and Vietri completely captured my heart at first sight.
    What a pity it's winter now... I would have considered a new visit for my birthday coming in a couple of weeks!


  3. Yes, Michela - spot on - though of course, Kate alluded to Betjeman in her mention of the "soaring majesty" of Norfolk.

    And because today is Kate's birthday and she is always banging the drum for Norfolk - here is Betjeman's nostalgic poem about that flat, magnificent-skied county.


    How did the devil come? When first attack?
    These Norfolk lanes recall lost innocence,
    The years fall off and find me walking back
    Dragging a stick along the wooden fence
    Down this same path, where, forty years ago,
    My father strolled behind me, calm and slow.

    I used to fill my hand with sorrel seeds
    And shower him with them from the tops of stiles,
    I used to butt my head into his tweeds
    To make him hurry down those languorous miles
    Of ash and alder-shaded lanes, till here
    Our moorings and the masthead would appear.

    Then there was supper lit by lantern light
    And in the cabin I could lie secure
    And hear against the polished sides at night
    The lap lap lapping of the weedy Bure,
    Dear whispering and watery Norfolk sound
    Which told of all the moonlit reeds around.

    How did the devil come? When first attack?
    The church is just the same, though now I know
    Fowler of Louth restored it. Time, bring back
    The rapturous ignorance of long ago,
    The peace, before the dreadful daylight starts
    Of unkept promises and broken hearts.

    JOHN BETJEMAN (1953)

  4. Touching poem - and Happy Birthday to Kate!

  5. Lovely poem! Glad you had a (refilling of the well) break. Caroline x

  6. Thank you, Sharon xxx (And he did say that quote about Norfolk after he'd been round some of our churches...)

  7. this is the poem JB wrote about Trebetherik.

    We used to picnic where the thrift
    Grew deep and tufted to the edge;
    We saw the yellow foam flakes drift
    In trembling sponges on the ledge
    Below us, till the wind would lift
    Them up the cliff and o’er the hedge.
    Sand in the sandwiches, wasps in the tea,
    Sun on our bathing dresses heavy with the wet,
    Squelch of the bladder-wrack waiting for the sea,
    Fleas around the tamarisk, an early cigarette.

    From where the coastguard houses stood
    One used to see below the hill,
    The lichened branches of a wood
    In summer silver cool and still;
    And there the Shade of Evil could
    Stretch out at us from Shilla Mill.
    Thick with sloe and blackberry, uneven in the light,
    Lonely round the hedge, the heavy meadow was remote,
    The oldest part of Cornwall was the wood as black as night,
    And the pheasant and the rabbit lay torn open at the throat.

    But when a storm was at its height,
    And feathery slate was black in rain,
    And tamarisks were hung with light
    And golden sand was brown again,
    Spring tide and blizzard would unite
    And sea come flooding up the lane.
    Waves full of treasure then were roaring up the beach,
    Ropes round our mackintoshes, waders warm and dry,
    We waited for the wreckage to come swirling into reach,
    Ralph, Vasey, Alistair, Biddy, John and I.

    Then roller into roller curled
    And thundered down the rocky bay,
    And we were in a water world
    Of rain and blizzard, sea and spray,
    And one against the other hurled
    We struggled round to Greenaway.
    Blessйd be St Enodoc, blessйd be the wave,
    Blessйd be the springy turf, we pray, pray to thee,
    Ask for our children all happy days you gave
    To Ralph, Vasey, Alistair, Biddy, John and me.