A couple of weeks ago, on a Sunday, I decided to be brave and do one of the favourite things Andy and I used to enjoy - but without him, of course. There is a little church, just over a mile or so away, which I had previously ear-marked for an expedition.
It has the most beautiful cropped yews.
And an interesting patch of herringbone brickwork.
I arrived just after service.
The well worn handle, doubling as a sanctuary knocker.
I wandered about as normal, taking photos and reading the little pamphlet provided. Circa 13th century font with later cover.
Retaining the old boxed in pews - nice to see, so many have succumbed to woodworm, damp and modernisation.
One of a few alabaster memorials, 16th century, if I remember rightly.
Medieval floor tiles.
A wooden effigy of a crusader, carved in oak - one of only three in the country. He was said to be seven foot, an enormous height for the time. His still, noble face and great length reminded me so much of Andy.
I stroked his cold face, sat in a nearby pew and cried, quietly for a very long time, feeling completely alone, in a strange county where I know barely anyone. I imagined that perhaps Andy was simply waiting outside for me, as he had done so many times before. We would potter home, talk about what to have for lunch and would we eat in the garden, as it was such a nice day?
But life is different now. I mopped myself up and pulled myself together. I left the solitary church, passed through the old lime tree lined drive and walked home, to apply myself to sanding down the bedroom floorboards.