I seem incapable of taking a photo in which verticals are vertical! But I thought I'd let you all see this delightful pub anyway. 'The Old House At Home' has the date 1339 inscribed deep in its outside wall, and centuries of memories enfolded in its heart, no doubt.
I first visited it in my student days, before it had been 'modernised' (dreadful word), There was a huge open hearth in the main bar, a stone floor, a slate shove-h'appeny board and a wooden, table-top skittles game with which local yokels could while away the evening as they quaffed their beer. The bar room was tiny, and it didn't take many bodies to make it feel like a rugby scrum. Modernisation saw internal walls removed between it and the next cottage to the left, and now there's enough space for groups of small tables where good, plain but tasty pub food is served.
You can see the top of St Faith's Church clock tower nestled among the trees round the graveyard whose ancient graves are at shoulder height - level with the top of the encircling brick wall that leads your eye into the picture.
Between the pub and the church, a short fight of stone steps lead up to a narrow, dirt pathway (dividing line between God and Man ?) which has now had flagstones laid along its length, and thereby lost some of its magical appeal. Wrought iron railings of the church boundary were overshadowed by graceful old trees - beech or sycamore- and there was a certain spot roughly half way along this path, where I always had to pause and savour the 'time out of time' awareness that it held.
The first occasion that my brother visited me, after emigrating to New Zealand, I led him along this pathway, but made no mention of 'the spot'. I walked slowly ahead, but suddenly he called me back. 'Stop! Pen, wait!' and I looked round at him and smiled. He grinned back at me, and said 'You know, don't you?' and I nodded. There was no need for words...