Friday 18 June

It was tidying up and packing away time, always much quicker when you’re leaving as you simply sweep everything up into the cases and load the car. But I just had to go to the baker’s and buy a Cornish pasty for the journey home. Before we left, we visited the church of St Olav in Poughill, a thirteenth century foundation with some very unusual features.

It has two 15th century wall paintings of St Christopher, which were whitewashed over and only rediscovered in 1894. They were apparently regarded as being “too Catholic.” They were restored and repainted in the 1930’s, perhaps a little too brightly? But they are quite amazing, very large.

I also read the following: “Aside from the wall paintings the most interesting historic feature is a wonderful collection of 78 late medieval carved bench ends. Many of the bench ends are carved with the symbols of Christ’s Passion, including a wonderfully grotesque carving of the Mouth of Hell.” And quite by chance, it was the one I photographed. it seemed particularly striking.

Then we set out to drive back. Google maps said 4.5 hours: it is 232 miles. In the end it took over 8 hours, an unbelievable amount of traffic, road works, accidents, torrential rain, everything conspired against us. The moral of the story is, set out at 4am if you are driving, or if possible, take the train! So the blog is inevitably shorter as I am feeling a shade discombobulated.

I should have said that yesterday we did not only walk on the coastal path but also inland, and it was quite delightful. We walked through fields of golden barley, so the music just has to be Sting. It’s an interesting video too.

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