Right at the end of December 2019, the grey lifted somewhat. We decided to go up Eaves Wood to catch the sun on the ridge. Never disappointing, we discovered amazing tree shadows striating the path beneath a clear blue sky. At Hell Hole Rocks, a man clambered about, apparently practicing falling!
Behind, Stoodley Pike peeked spookily between black tree branches. We waited for a couple dawdling with a tiny dog on the steep stone steps until we could ascend. A rowdy crowd of kids, this time with a boisterous dogs, almost knocked us off the precipice.
That ordeal over, I was left breathless at the top and stopped for a much-needed break. To stay in sunlight, we turned right along the ridge-top path and paused at the gate to the newly planted wood. A delicate white flower fluttered in the light breeze. We meandered through onto Southfield. Then the clouds gathered, obliterating the warmth and brightness. In the churchyard, we discovered it infested with tourists, including a crowd round the grave of Sylvia Plath.
We retreated to the bench behind the yew tree to eat clementines then wandered slowly among the gravestones and within the ruin. For once, I actually stopped at the resting place of David Hartley where a scattering of coins had been left by admirers. I joked they should be clipped!
Through the village, we started down the road when I suggested we take the corpse road. I was quite pleased to find the right entrance to the path, but for the second time, we mistakenly took the upward path to the right of houses, leading back to Southfield. Back on the correct path, twisty trees edged the narrow route, incredibly muddy in places. Back in Eaves Wood, I searched in vain for the engraved stone.