In Sherborne this evening, as the temperature begins to drop from what it was in the heat of the day… a blistering 34 degrees. Another ‘first’ today, having learned how to make scrambled egg last week. I was in the village of East Coker, where the main road through the village is closed for repairs. A woman in a car stopped me to ask how she could deliver a Chinese meal to an address at the other end of the village. I said I was walking there and could deliver it for her. I could have scoffed it myself, though a Chinese meal was not what I wanted on such a hot day.
Meal delivered - and with grateful thanks ringing in my ears - I had a look round the church. T S Eliot is buried here - he is commemorated with a plaque - and East Coker is one of his Four Quartets.
Now the light falls
Across the open field, leaving the deep lane
Shuttered with branches, dark in the afternoon
Where you lean against a bank while a van passes,
And the deep lane insists on the direction
Into the village, in the electric heat
The lanes around the village really are ‘deep’ - steep-sided hollow ways - and ‘dark’ (shadowed on the sunniest of days). They ‘insist on the direction’ because once you start to walk to walk through one of these lanes, you have to keep following it until you reach the village. The heat today was certainly ‘electric’, though there’s no mention in any of of the Four Quartets about Sweet and Sour Pork Cantonese Style with Egg Fried Rice…
Hollow way to East Coker...