It occurred to me this afternoon, as we wandered around the ever-growing fields of wheat and broad beans in Crondall, that my favourite saint (St Sebastien) actually protects his ‘people’ from plague. Okay, his main patronage is for army personnel but he also does a fine line in plague avoidance.
I well remember a rather elaborate St Seb Chapel just outside Liverot, Normandy. It had been built in the Middle Ages when the Black Death was approaching from Paris. The townspeople hurriedly knocked up the chapel and prayed for Sebastien to protect them.
Of course, it didn’t work. The town was wiped out by plague, the buildings gradually rotted away and today, all that remains is the chapel next to a decidedly non-contemporary barn.
Still, I feel St Sebastien is working hard to protect me. This is because I know he knows I don’t believe in any of his nonsense and he’s under orders to convince me.
And thus he looks over me, pinned to the window frame above my laptop. Apt really.
As I said, we headed up to Crondall after Mirinda finished her weekly radio programme. It was rather warm today so the lack of shade certainly tested our resolve. It was the sort of day that the Brits rush to the beach and social distancing rulers are scaled down.
As we wandered around the fields, we saw very few people though we did see an awful lot of border terriers. I think the border terrier might just be the village emblem. Or mascot. Maybe they’re all related. It is, after all, a village where everyone seems to know your name. And the name of your dog.
There was one dog (not a border terrier) who thought she deserved to upset a family picnic. She was very funny, leaping onto the blanket, looking for some yummy scraps. She then headed over to our two to say hello then to two couples, both of whom had border terriers. It was almost as if she’d been in isolation for a fortnight and had finally been allowed out.
The incredibly elaborate, and growing more so daily, shed has almost all its solar panels on the roof. The walls have also started going up which means, as it continues to grow, we’ll only be able to glimpse the inside through the massive great front doorway.
It is an amazing shed. I have no idea what it’s going to be used for. There’s no livestock in Crondall though there’s a lot of farmland. I can only think it’s for some sort of agricultural processing. Inside, there’s also a raised section – a sort of Meccano version of a mezzanine.
As well as the solar panels, there’s also an awfully thick layer of insulation between the roof and the rafters as well as in the walls. This shed is going to be environmentally friendly and a half.
And it’s wonderfully intriguing.