When considering how I might best provide some lasting commemorations for Lynn my thoughts turned to our shared love of the Royal Opera House and the Lake District.
We’d planned to celebrate our joint 60th birthdays and 35th wedding anniversary in 2018 by naming our favourite seats at the Opera House. A plaque with a small inscription can be placed on the back of a seat and we’d rather taken to the idea. In very different circumstances I have now managed to name our seats and I’m delighted that the Friends of the Royal Opera House have included a short article in the Autumn 2018 Magazine. The article is here.
As regards the Lake District, I’ve very much enjoyed discussions with Sophie Hodge and Rachel Dorrington, Friends of the Lake District, about supporting restoration of a footbridge in the National Park. There’s something very reassuring about a safe, substantial bridge over a flowing beck, with hand rails to lean against. You want to rest and linger, taking in the view and watching the water run below, knowing you can never put your foot in the same body of water. Working with the National Park, Friends of the Lake District wanted to replace the footbridge over Buttermere Dubs which was damaged in the 2014 storms. The footbridge is pivotal for everyone walking around Buttermere or climbing the fells on the southern side of the lake - Red Pike to Haystacks. We’ve crossed the bridge countless times although if I go back to our walking log I’d be able to give a number. Friends of the Lake District published an article about the bridge replacement and Lynn. The work on the foot bridge was completed in September 2019 and there's a separate page for the Buttermere Bridge project.
I’m also keen to help with the maintenance of St Bega’s, a place of serenity and quietude which we loved and which now gives me great solace. I’d been struggling with what to do with Lynn’s ashes. There are so many special places on the fells we loved. But I didn't like the idea of taking ashes, an eggcup at a time, to Binsey, The Watches, Dodd, Skiddaw, and so many other favourites. And there’s our special cairn on the Hobcarton Ridge just down from Grisedale Pike which we visited during what proved to be Lynn’s final walk on the high fells and where I captured Lynn and her delight in our love of the fells and being together.
When visiting St Bega’s in early 2018 I realised that burying Lynn’s ashes in the churchyard would be ideal. There’s a beautiful slate headstone which lists the names of those whose ashes are in the churchyard; and in my dotage I’m sure St Bega’s will be a great deal more accessible than Skiddaw summit or the Hobcarton cairn. Lynn's ashes were buried in St Bega's churchyard 22 May 2018, exactly a year after her funeral, and her name added to the headstone. I’d been keen to support restoration of the churchyard walls and thought it a wonderful idea when Clare Spedding suggested a new curtain behind the Altar which is now hanging. I was particularly attracted to the notion of making more tangible a sense of place and belonging. A final resting place for Lynn’s ashes amidst the tranquility offered by idyllic St Bega’s is so fitting.
And whilst I'm able, I’ll visit our special places and in May leave a token of our love, perhaps a buttonhole posy from Rainbow Flowers or some flowers from the garden.