On Sunday it was Robert’s birthday – and yes, yes I did the table bit. Will, with his girlfriend, Kat, came down to make sure the proper ceremonial direction was followed to the tee! I’m joking. Will and Kat did come down to celebrate with Robert; it’s the last time they’ll be home before Christmas. Will is off to Glasgow to work on the new series of Phoo Action for the BBC – he’s the production designer – and Kat, a graphic designer for Heat magazine, will be spending any free weekends she has in Glasgow with Will.
For Robert it’s, of course, hedgerows; and there can’t be a more perfect time to have a birthday with a hedgerow theme. Despite our diabolical summer I still found a basket full of berries, seed-heads, sinuous twisting ropes of bryony, dusty bloomed sloes, glossy haws, hips, translucent bracts of guelder-rose, ferns and on-the-cusp-of-changing leaves.
Sunday was a glorious day. Soft, mellow sun which we desperately turned towards like sickly, yellow-white seedlings. We decided on a walk on Dartmoor at Scorhill where there’s an evocative and impressive stone circle. It’s an extraordinarily atmospheric place.
Nearby, in the river Teign, is the Tolman; a solid block of granite about 10 feet in diameter and two to four feet thick, where the action of the water has worked an almost perfectly circular hole. Passing through the hole is said to be a cure for rheumatism or arthritis, whilst children would be cured of whooping-cough or tuberculosis.
Another legend is that if you pass through the hole you will see the future. I thought that in view of it being Robert’s birthday and the beginning of a new life direction for him what could be better than to ‘re-birth’ through the hole (for those that think I’ve lost the plot, I am about 7/8th Celtic!). And to my amazement he did.