One thing I didn’t blog last week because events sort of rolled over it was a visit to Tynet with an old friend we were entertaining. This is somewhere up the North coast, and is significant because it’s the first Catholic church was built in these islands after the Reformation (the area was, and is, entrenchedly Catholic), about halfway through the eighteenth century. Tynet is interesting, because the church is designed to look like a row of farm cottages from any distance greater than ten feet. This obviously was in case some kind of mob appeared to destroy it, which in fact it didn’t, but an odd result is that the only place I’ve been that feels at all like it is the seventeenth-century Quaker meetinghouse at Brigg Flatts. As with Brigg Flatts, you can get a key from the neighbour, but I don’t think a lot of people do, because there’s a foot or two of gravel round the church, presumably to minimise damp problems, and I noticed that a foot to the left of the door there was an oystercatcher’s nest. Just a shallow depression in the gravel, and a large and impressive black-spotted egg. I saw the oystercatcher a bit later, sitting on a stump keeping an eye on us. It gave such a sense of remoteness and peace.