Tuesday, 14 April 2015

A Heartening Encounter in the Churchyard

A sunny morning in the churchyard as I strolled through this morning, on my way to the station. Two young men, one in a hoodie, both smoking, backs turned, appeared to be scrutinising the Epitaph mounted on the South wall of the church. And so, it turned out, they were.
 As I passed them, one of the youngsters called out: 'Excuse me, mate - can you tell us anything about this?'
 'My dear fellow,' I replied, 'you have come to the right man.'
 No, don't worry, I didn't, but I told them a little about the epitaph and its subject.
 They'd clearly been trying to decipher the inscription for a while. Unfortunately it was in the shade and therefore largely illegible, so worn it is, and the lines had slipped from my sieve-like memory. One of the young men was especially taken with the skull at the top of the stone and I was able to tell him there were more such gravestones around the side of the church. Both of them were touchingly, non-ironically, grateful for what I could tell them (I've often found this with the young products of an education system that seems determined to prevent them learning anything about anything, outside a few prescribed PC topics). 'Lucky we asked someone who knew about the history,' they said. 'Well,' I replied, 'I've lived here half a century and more. I'm part of the history.'

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