Friday 15 July 2011

The Doggy Bag Winner

It has been such a busy, hectic, mad week that this morning I found there wasn't enough in the fridge to make even a Bottom of the Fridge Soup for lunch. Nothing for it but to go foraging to fill the doggy bag. As it was a pleasant day, I took myself off to the farm shop in Abinger Hammer where Jack the Blacksmith rings the bell on the hour with, yes, his hammer. So, like a child, I spent half an hour in a busy day waiting for the hour to strike. I knew once I had made that decision that I was lost. I surrendered myself to the day and serendipity and followed the road into Dorking to look at the wonderful antique and fabric stores there. If you are in this part of the world, the town is well worth a visit.
I realised at some point I would just have to come back home and get on with work, but returning the country route I passed Wotton Hatch and an intriguing little Saxon church I always see from the road and always mean to visit and somehow never do. So, today had to be the day. But as luck would have it, the church was closed. However, I looked around and admired the bed head graves, which are the horizontal bars you can see in the foreground of the print. Extending from these wooden bed heads are quilted mounds of fire-stone, or old brick. Then as luck would have it the gardener arrived and I asked when the church opened for vistors and he told me after service on Sundays. So, I said I would call back on Sunday. Just as I was about to set off home, he came up to me and planted a big placard announcing there would be no service this Sunday. He shrugged, I shrugged. Some other Sunday then. I made to set off again and he came back up to me and asked where I lived. Then he said he had a key to the church and could show me round now. Inside the church was very small and very plain, very little to see and I was about to drop some money in the collections box and thank him, when he told me about the Lady Chapel. I followed him to a side chapel, where, amazingly there were three fabulous Stuart tablet monuments on the walls and two 17th century coffin shaped floor monuments - one of which was the tomb of John Evelyn, the famous diarist. Well, well, well. Serendipity strikes again! And serendipity has also struck this evening for Torrie in North Carolina who was first out of the draw for the Doggie Bag. Congratulations, Torrie. I know there were a few of you who would have loved to buy a similar bag if you didn't win, but it looks like it was limited edition and sadly, I can find no others for you. I did my best.

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