On Monday, my mother phoned me and asked me to get her one of the widely advertised "memory pillows", made of special foam which contours itself to the shape of your head and neck, but then springs back to its original form once you get up in the morning. They are jolly clever things, and I was happy to go shopping on Mum's behalf.
I needed to go to Mum's on Wednesday as she had an appointment at home, and I deal with all her business for her as I have enduring Power Of Attorney, so she asked if I could bring the pillow to her house .
Wednesday came, and after doing some housework, walking the dog etc, I grabbed my bag, some paperwork that had to go to the stonemason's relating to the memorial stone being put on my father and brother's grave, and the ubiquitous memory pillow.
It was bitterly cold, and I bundled myself up warmly indeed for the 2.5 mile walk from my house. First stop was the stonemason's yard, to hand over the paperwork. As the cemetery was just down the road, I popped in - still clutching the bag with "Memory Pillow" emblazoned across it in bold capital letters- to sing "Memory eternal " at the graveside, and put a new light in the grave candle.
After a few minutes quiet reflection and prayer, I gathered together all my belongings and started the last leg of the walk. I decided to take a short cut (which I had never travelled before) which in theory should have taken me to the other Holy Well, which I am ashamed to say that I only recently found out even existed and have never visited. Several cars drove past me, looking at me with quizzical expressions as I tramped along the grass verge towards the lane which led to the isolated Well, dressed like a Womble and carrying the blessed Memory Pillow, and I began to think that being an obviously female figure heading towards a narrow lane on my own could be a potentially dangerous situation, and I broke into a gentle trot in order to get to the main village and human habitations within shouting distance.
I'm not normally a particularly fearful person, but would I have been angry if a friend of mine had put herself in this position ? Oh yes !
To my delighted surprise, I found the Holy Well easily, and nearly broke my legs after I stumbled over a muddy rut in the path , which had frozen solid. I managed to break my fall, but would have been in a bit of a pickle if I had had a serious accident on my own. It was a little disconcerting to see that uncaring people had been there around Halloween, as the remains of a decaying pumpkin were actually on the stone work of the Well., along with quite a lot of litter.
I glanced at my phone to check the time, and realised that I was going to be cutting it very fine to get to Mum's without running, which I did not feel up to doing, in that bitter cold wind, so once I was in the village and only about twenty minutes walk from Mum's. I phoned for a taxi. The lady who collected me is someone who knows my Mum well, and when she heard that I had been to the cemetery with a memory pillow, she was tickled pink and we giggled at intervals all the way to Mum's.
The business was concluded satisfactorily, and I had a safe and uneventful return walk home to pick DD4 up from school - using the pavements along main roads this time!
I didn't have my camera with me, but will be making a return trip to the Well - by car, with my husband as bodyguard in the near future - to take photos, and to clear up the litter and dispose of it properly..
It was such a strange mix of delight, sadness, reflection and moments of utter panic and anger at my own foolishness. A slightly weird day indeed.