Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Girl’s Day Out

Aside

Margaret had planned an outing as a late birthday treat for me so I had the seat of honour in the car – next to the driver. I tried to persuade Joy to take my place, to rest her achy knee but she wouldn’t hear of it. We took a lane to the right near the Tropiquaria and then I just gave myself up to the delights of the banks of wild primroses and our lovely countryside bathed in rare sunshine which lasted all day.

After a while we came to the Mineral Line and Margaret pointed out the Wheel house. People used to get a lift down to Watchet. The line was started in 1855 and ore was sent to Ebbw Vale iron works in south Wales. In 1898 the railway closed and it was last used in 1914. We saw the chapel that was built for the miners.

Maybe I have got ahead of myself but we had coffee near Kilve Abbey and watched two gorgeous Shire horses galloping round the field. Of course as soon as I got my camera out, they stuck their heads in the grass and presented their bums. Margaret, as usual, boldly went down all the narrow lanes so I’m not sure how we eventually got on a road to Upton. We talked about our various spouses/ spice and compared notes

Margaret’s husband with two frozen shoulders has found relief with a cortisone injection, MTL is stabilised and Joy’s husband seems improved since having his carotid artery (in the neck) scraped. After a mini stroke it can help prevent a further one, if the arteries are clogged.

Another diversion down a very narrow lane took us to a tower which turned out to be the remains of an old church and grave yard. We wandered round the grave yard and felt a sort of Black Death feel. Eventually we came to an Inn which was new to us – plain outside – warm and welcoming inside. I bought the drinks as is the wont of the birthday girl and was treated to a lovely, chatty lunch. It would be interesting to have our blood pressure tested before and after our jaunts and - ten pound to a penny - they would all be way down afterwards.

On the drive Margaret had recounted an interesting story where the lady of the manor had died young. She wasn’t sure where the manor house was but remembered St Decuman’s Church near Watchet was involved so we went there and discovered the true story.

The house was Kentsford, just down the lane from the church. John Wyndham lived there with his young wife Florence whose maiden name was Wadham; her brother founded Wadham College, Oxford. It was hoped that Florence would bear sons and carry on the Wyndham name. In 1559 she was taken desperately ill, went into a coma and the local physician pronounced her dead. She was put in the family vault in the church and the sexton noticed she was still wearing her gold wedding ring.

At dead of night he stealthily opened the heavy church door and with the light from a lantern made his way to Florence’s coffin. When he found it impossible to wrest the ring from her finger he attempted to cut off her finger with his knife. The blood started to flow, her arm started to move, she opened her eyes and cried out.

The shock had roused her from what had been a state of catalepsy. The sexton dropped the lantern and fled in terror. Florence arose, picked up the lantern and, still clad in her flimsy shroud went down Snailholt Lane, across the fields to her home and then had to persuade her grieving husband that she was not a ghost. Happily, soon afterwards she gave birth to a son John.

We walked down the lane as far as the Holy Well and I baptised the girls and Margaret did the same for me. So we should be safe for a while. See pics below.

Today the family are taking us out to lunch – guess where? And I can tell young James the story – because it has a happy ending.

19 comments:

R. Sherman said...

The story of young Florence is chilling -- not one I would have expected on a "girls' day out."

Cheers.

PI said...

Randall: you don't know the half of it. Your blood would run cold. Tee hee!

Nea said...

Strange how we react differently to stories, I found this one cheering rather than chilling.

Your plural of spouse made me giggle too, it can't be the right one can it? I shall have to go and check now, you never know when I might need to refer to spouse in the plural.

john.g. said...

Ok, let me get this right. You and the girls go out on a jolly.

So far I have read about two frozen shoulders, a carotid artery being scraped. A visit to a graveyard. A story about the lady of the manor dying young. Cutting peoples fingers off whilst they are still alive.

What do you do for fun?!!

PI said...

Nea: mouse - mice, spouse - spice, works for me. As for cheering and chilling I think it's a gender thing - I'm not saying men are big girl's blouses. Not at all:)

JohnG: well when you put it like that... But there is no doom and gloom at all. Raucous laughter - maybe.

john.g. said...

Mum2, your comment was my award! x

Guyana-Gyal said...

Ooooh, that story is something else!

Have you ever read Vendetta by Marie Corelli? It's not like Florence's story, but the burying alive made me remember that book.

PI said...

Johng: xoxox

GG: I haven't but will look out for it.

Mr Farty said...

I love a happy ending. Thanks.

PI said...

Mr Farty: you're very welcome!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

LOL, LOL, LOL...I LOVED John G's Comment...I hadn't noticed!!! LOL! I guess that comes with "age" too....None of it sounds strange to me except, maybe, that poor woman who's finger was almost cut off...! LOL! And I KNOW you all have a jolly good time....!
Great pictures, too, Pat....!
I wish I could join you gals sometime...You all always have such a grand time together....Infirmities, be damned! (LOL)

PI said...

Naomi: here here! I'll drink to that!

savannah said...

perfect, sugar! i like you girls outing...what a lovely group o'gals! xoxox (the legend is fantastic!)

sablonneuse said...

So if the sexton hadn't planned on stealing the ring she might have been buried alive. Shudder. . . .

PI said...

Savannah: you should join us sometime:)

Sablonnneuse: he actually saved her life. I wonder what happened to him?
at least he should have been desextoned.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Tell James the story? What with all the blood and gore. Well, maybe with not so much gore....

PI said...

Hoss: certainly. Of course I ran it past his mum first. It's quite a moral story; don't go cutting people's fingers off or bad things will happpen. Greed is bad etc etc.

Sam, Problemchildbride said...

Bloody hell! I hope the sexton was sacked. He was going to cut her finger off? God.

PI said...

Sam: I can't find out what happened to the sexton. Probably weasled out of it.