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This report is taken from PN Review 252, Volume 46 Number 4, March - April 2020.

From the Journals R.F. Langley
from a long continuous entry begun on 23 and continued on 24 and 25 August 1974

(A summer holiday with Barbara and Ruth, aged six months, in Glebe Cottage, Spexhall, near Halesworth, Suffolk, shared with Kate, Nigel and one year old Daniel Wheale, involving expeditions to look at medieval Suffolk churches, with pauses and picnics in the countryside in between)

Gipsywort in the choked ditch by the row of cottages behind Bedingfield… tall, erect, square hard-stemmed, with pairs of  yellow-green deep-notched stems , graduated perfectly in size, opposite, the next pair turned through ninety degrees, each pair springing from a small cushion of spikes and smallest white flowers in the upper cushions. A plant so regular and designed effectively as to be artificial if it were not rankly natural. Scentless. A visual articulation. An elegant gypsy, Lycopus europaeus, lanceolate, staged blades, hafted, toothed, whorled like shaft decoration. By fresh water.

The church door, remarkable only for the simplest double hammerbeam ever, no tracery, no decorated wall plates, just the structure in plain wood so what virtue it has shows. After Fressingfield, where it rained, but the square nave was light, the pale oak of the benches answering that of the roof equally, nowhere else was of note, though Bedfield was swathed in heavy-duty polythene, a curtain of it closing off the chancel, all benches, floor and font smothered, dead myxymatosis rabbit at the door, loud ducks on the stirred brown pond, a foreign pheasant rushing across the churchyard, mint by a pool, puddles, smeared ...


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