A sad time
by, 17th-January-2011 at 01:13 PM (5453 Views)
A couple of nights ago one of the cottages a couple of miles along the road burnt down. The elderly woman, who lived alone, was inside. There are less than a dozen permanently occupied houses along a seven mile long stretch of single track road and while incidents like this happen all over the country it has really affected the mood of the area.
I did not know her very well. In fact I don’t know any of my neighbours well, a situation I was already wanting to change this year. However I knew her to say hello to, and we’d had a few conversations. When she was younger she used to live in my house with her aunt, who was the estates gamekeeper. If I saw her out in the garden I would stop and pass the time of day, or if I saw her on the road (she was a couple of miles nearer the village than us) I would stop and give her a lift. She didn’t have a car and frequently walked the few miles to the village and back again to collect her pension and get shopping or catch the bus to elsewhere.
The alarm was raised by the local farmer who saw the flames before he went to bed. By the time he got there the house was engulfed in an intense fire. No one knew to start with whether she was in there or not, but most suspected she was. Investigations are ongoing into the cause, but it has come as quite a shock and I am sad that I won’t have the opportunity to speak to her again.