Sunday, 15 May 2011

Dancing on graves

On a tomb in the churchyard at Dundry, there is a dancing lesson in stone. It's interrupted when father comes home from the quarry; there's his hobnailed bootprint on the threshold, see?

We stopped there on our way west, in our hunt for the Giant Faun Of Shepton Mallett. A chamois, it is at home in precipitous places, and lived for a long time on the roof of the Babycham factory. But now it is sheltering under the trees nearby. We managed to get quite close, as you see.

...and then we went looking for a cup of tea, and found a Portuguese cafe in the high street.

I remarked to Deborah that I was sure this was the cafe where I came on a rainy day, twenty years ago, looking for a cup of tea and a bit to eat, and it was full of very large people who looked as though they shared a very small number of ancestors, all eating large gobbets of pork. And it was very steamy.

Today there was Sagres beer on offer, but we went for tea. And soup and rice cake. It was a little touch of Portugal in the west country. I listened carefully to the ads on the telly for maiôs de banho and elections, and decided that while it sounded superficially like spanish, except for the 'sh' sound, I couldn't make head nor tail of it. And the patron spoke very little english. But one of the crowd at the counter cheerfully offered to translate if necessary. And he got some water for Ted the dog. It was a good cafe.

Outside, Ted started barking at a Very Large Dog with a Very Large Owner, both of whom looked as though they'd eaten quite a few gobbets of pork in their time. The chaps in the cafe came out to watch as we dragged Ted away. We waved cheerfully.