Monday, 17 January 2011

A Most Lamentable Occurrence

Anybody who used to read my Instanta blog will know that Marion and I enjoy the occasional visit to ancient monuments. Despite being devout non-believers we particularly enjoy ecclesiastical sites as they are often the source of some of the most touching writing that you will ever come across. Whilst many tombstones and monuments note little more than a name, age and date, there are plenty that eulogise over the deceased that lies within. Today we visited the magnificent Cartmel Priory in South Lakeland and amongst a number of touching memorials we came across this.

I'm sorry that my camera missed the full name of the dead child in this beautifully carved plaque but what struck us both was the flowery Victorian prose telling how "an opening life of bright promise was suddenly closed by a MOST LAMENTABLE OCCURRENCE". That phrase resonates with mystery but there are clues in the sculpting. Alongside the grieving woman are what appears to be broken cart wheels so we assume that the lamentable occurrence was perhaps some sort of early road traffic accident. Was it lamentable due to Charles's own error? Or was the phrase perhaps a barb aimed at the driver of the cart that took him away? We will probably not discover how young Charles met his untimely end but I Googled the phrase and discovered another blogger - romantic writer and columnist Kate Walker had visited the priory and she too was captivated by this carving. In 2008 she decided to apply for a copy of young Charles's death certificate but I haven't found out if she ever received it.I'm going to try and follow it up.  

On a slightly lighter note, spare a thought for William Myers who died on a most unusual date.

Forgive me a moments' self indulgence. Here's a screen shot from this evening's airing of Perfection which was created by my super daughter in law. It's great to see her name up in lights on the BBC. 

And finally, instead of indulgence we had to show incredible will power to walk past this shop window in Grange Over Sands without going in. Pies as far as the eye could see.