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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

A Tale of the Unexpected

Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas JANUARY. 14, 2021


[166-365] 14th. January 2021- Another lockdown walk up the lane. A pretty grey day and I was not very enthusiastic but you have to do it.

Some new neighbours moved in today so we had a socially distant chat and introduced ourselves. That was really nice because it is socialising that we miss most. We felt for them because it was exactly a year yesterday we moved in ourselves and that is still in sharp focus. At least they had the advantage over us that it didn't rain today.

When we moved in it was torrential and carried on like that for six weeks with two major storms added to the mix. It was a grim start to 2020 which panned out like you would expect. So we are being more hopeful this year, it's been dry most of the month so far, touch wood.

Touch Wood is a strange expression which has been around in various forms for so long that most people don't even question it's origin. We are all agreed though that it is something we do for luck or as a follow up to saying how well something is going as if saying that is a temptation for it to turn bad. But just say "touch wood" and everything will be fine.

It is believed to originate a long way into the dim and distant past of our ancestors who believed in animism, which is the belief that spirits inhabit inanimate objects like wood or stone. I think it also explains the practice of placing flowers or lamps next to objects like trees, where someone has met a tragic end. Increasingly in Britain, these shrines pop up on roadsides where someone has died, something virtually non-existent even twenty years ago.


So maybe animism is making a comeback.

At any rate getting back to my lockdown walk today, as I said I was at best unenthusiastic but half way up the hill I stopped to catch my breath and turned around to look back and what a sight to behold.

The sun broke through briefly to bathe some newly ploughed fields in an orange glow of late afternoon light. The soil around here is a fairly vibrant red anyway but this particular light seemed to set it on fire and it glowed like the embers in the bottom of our glass fronted stove.

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