It might have been The Who: their original name was The Detours and it seems to me that sometimes you can learn a lot from a band’s name.
With hours of festive freedom ahead of me I take a few detours of my own and drive along an unfamiliar road that leads to a churchyard. I park up on a patch of gravel in a green grotto of yews with blood red berries that shine in the gloom. I share the space with a burgundy car belonging to an old couple placing flowers on a grave in the rain. I am in an expansive mood like Scrooge after the visit of the third ghost and feel like saying hello although it doesn’t seem right to break the silence so I don’t.
Instead, I lift the latch on the churchyard gate expecting someone to leap out from behind a grave and challenge me at any moment.
They are impressive graves, especially the great white sarcophagus that seems to glow in the grass next to a moss coated cross with fast fading Celtic knot work.
I come to a wrought-iron lamppost in an early twentieth century style: it seems like the perfect place to wait for Mr Tumnus except that there’s plenty of rain instead of snow.
Then, feeling like a burglar, I try the handle on the sombre church door. It’s locked and there’s nothing more to be done except to keep on walking in the rain looking and not looking for the next detour.