For Halloween, mums in the village organised a pumpkin trail, instead of the usual knocking on doors. People hung packets of sweets on trees for the children to find, inside carved pumpkins, shared ideas and locations on the village Facebook page and that gave me an idea…….
Halloween is swiftly followed by Rememberance Sunday. The black ghostly shadows of village soldiers were hopefully being put up in the graveyard around the war memorial. We were all going to meet there on the Sunday but now we’re in lockdown and I’m not sure if that means we can or can’t meet. 🤔…I’m sure somebody will tell me…(update, yes we did, safely and following the rules)
Anyway…back to my idea. My talented playmate, Gail, from one of my favourite places, Cleveleys near Blackpool, made a video showing us how to decorate pebbles with poppies. I wouldn’t have know where to start if left to my own devices, but her instructions were so simple, so logical and so clear to follow. You can watch it yourself here…
I knew I wouldn’t be able to use a fine paintbrush, my hands aren’t steady enough but at one point she mentioned sharpie pens, and I thought, maybe I could manage them.
So off I trundled to the shops, bought a red and black one, found some pebbles and here’s the result…..
I told the villagers on Facebook the day before that I would hide them around the village for everyone to find just to gauge people’s interest….but I needn’t have worried, I had lots of messages to say how people loved the idea and would take their children out to find them….😳. …no pressure……it began to feel a tad overwhelming and out of hand as more and more people started to message….I only had about 30 pebbles 😂
So the following morning, early doors, off I went with my poppy bag filled with the pebbles. Where to hide them?
I’d got up and seen a blanket of fog covering the village, which is beautiful, but a tad disorientating for me because if I can’t see ahead I can forget where I am and get in a muddle…so I decided on a small very familiar route.
Out before 7am, it occurred to me to start my trail at the beginning, so I placed a pebble on the yellow stripe at the end of my path. Heading down towards the main road, I crossed over to the snicket that leads up to the ponies
I used to hate the fog as a driver, probably still would, but now I see it as a mystical haze, giving a different view of all my familiar trundles….
I stopped, suddenly remembering the bag of pebbles in my hand and placed one on the fence post
And another further along, before spying the bird house in the wildflower area…..took me a while to lodge it in and prop it up alongside the old birds nest, but finally found a pebble that would fit…
Now for the churchyard….putting my bag on the bench the ponies thought I’d brought them some carrots and looked very solemn when they saw I hadn’t
A pebble propped up against the church door, a couple either side of the war memorial and one propped between the branches of the tree
The fog was doing a good job distracting me from the task in hand
Such a wonderful morning to be out early. I don’t think I actually saw anyone today, unless I missed them in the fog 😂
Walking up to the playing field I could see the sun desperately trying to make it’s mark on the day
But the fog was winning and making it almost look like the moon
Opening the metal yellow gate to the children’s play area, I rested 3 more pebbles, one on the top of the climbing frame, one on the sitting stone and another on the bench under the tree, before heading off for a very special placement…..
I’d had a message from a villager saying it would make her young daughter’s day if she found one. I’d asked where they live and headed up there, leaving the pebble propped up just inside their gate….
Now for the duck pond…even they were in a haze of mist
I went through the gate, confusing the ducks no end, as my concentration was on where to put the pebbles…they paddled about in the water, looking most put out that I’d put them second today
But after feeding them, having hidden one on the picnic table, another on the bench, my final 3 pebbles clutched in my hand, I walked across the wooden walkway, thinking where to put these final 3. The house opposite the pond is where someone lives who has offered to pick me up should I be lost or in a pickle, not that I know where I put her phone number, but it was kind of her to offer……..so I lay one on her garden post…, the other will go on the bench near the shop and this final one…..mmmm…..as I turned round, I saw the wheel in the little undercover seating area that has the map of Old Walkington…..
A perfect fit…….
Finally I could go home and have a cuppa tea. As I turned the corner to my house, I felt an overwhelming emptiness….maybe I’d left all my love and emotion with each of the pebbles…..time for a cuppa…..
P.s…..as I shared a short socially distanced remembrance service at 11am on the Sunday, it was lovely to spy one of my poppy pebbles still resting on the war memorial….