There are mysteries and miracles all around us as I found out when I visited St. Bueno’s church at Pistyll - on a whim, to cheer myself up this morning.
‘Cheer myself up’ did I say? Well, maybe not. It’s one of those typically Welsh gloomy places, you know the ones – the ones where you start out with at least a little optimism and very quickly sink deep into the slough of despond.
And it was very gloomy today – gloomy, wet, and windy.
As I walked past the murky waters of what I instinctively knew to be an ancient fishpool (built by the monks for the raising of earthy tasting static trout) I felt that I was in one of those odd, out-of-time, faraway, gloomed and gloomy places.
The church is on the north coast of the Lleyn peninsula and was one of a number of stopping-off points for pilgrims on their way to
. There’s a 12th Century font, the remains of a medieval wall painting and to my surprise (such a surprise that I laughed out loud as they say) parishioners have revived the tradition of celebrating Lammas and the church floor was strewn with rushes. To be honest it made the church look more like a stable than a place of worship but it added a certain something (I’m not sure what though - potential fire risk?). Bardsey Island
I was looking for the grave of the actor Rupert Davies who played Maigret in the 60’s; he’s buried there. I remember the series well - Sunday afternoons in front of my gran’s old black and white telly eating Garibaldi biscuits and drinking tea, waiting for him to light his pipe with that flaming match, eyes sparkling as he inhaled the pungent shadowed pipe smoke (cough, cough, cough).
I didn't find him though; the wind and rain beat me off and the graveyard is on a steep hill. So steep that I slipped, fell in the mud, and gave up looking. Instead I found this at the bottom of my tumble – an old tomb cover camouflaged and splashed with lichen’s. Incredible patterns, a whole continent of countries on a tombstone map. There really are mysteries and miracles all around us even on the gloomiest of days (keep smiling - that's my motto).