The Textiliste heralds from Norfolk. There are a lot of jokes about that: everyone is a second cousin; the language is uniquely strange, the accent suggests a somewhat slow approach to rational thought. All rubbish and the language has some lovely touches – what’s not to like in calling a ladybird a bishy-barney bee? And if you’re not aware where it is, think of England as a kneeing man; Norfolk is the buttock.
Yesterday we visited to see two of her cousins and visit their family home. Only its not there. Their grandfather owned and ran a farm until the mid sixties and these three women spent a large part of their baby years there. We met up, hugged – sod it, why not – and set off for the football club in the small village of Bradenham (pronounced Bradnum) to park and head across the fields.
It was wet, green and devoid of any sign of habitation. Nothing. Not a dip or a bulge. It’s a bit spooky to share such detailed memories of playing in barns, helping with the harvest, feed your own sheep and yet there’s nothing tangible left.
Indeed the only memory trigger was the old dog roses that climbed across the hedges; nature remains even if man retreats.
Later we visited the ancient little church at an even smaller village, Scoulton where amongst the graves were many with the family name of Tufts, including the Textiliste’s great grandfather.
We manage to memorialise the dead, giving a little reminder of our presence; it’s about the only way we do. In a way that’s probably a good thing otherwise the countryside would be despoiled with little markers. nd anyway as I observed as we wandered around and I saw the cousins reminiscing happily it’s in the people that the best memories are formed.