As it was a glorious evening, I started at 6.15 for Rostherne, where, on the previous day, I had seen some quaint gravestone epitaphs which I wanted to copy down. I started at a fine pace which soon brought me to Barton and Stretford, then a sharp run to Altrincham, and I gained the Chester road. Three miles later, I turned into a bylane, then dropping swiftly down to the level of Rostherne Mere. I climbed up to the church, and was soon on with my weird occupation. This ancient churchyard is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, giving a fine view of the prettiest Cheshire mere, and I could not help thinking of Grey’s Elegy:
‘Beneath these rugged elms, this yew tree’s shade, Where heaven the turf in many a mouldering heap; Each in his narrow cell for ever laid, The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep’.
Bowden, the residential suburb of Altrincham basked in the summery evening, its many towers and spires shining silvery against a green background. To the east, across a smiling, peaceful plain, the Cheshire Highlands and the dull ridges of Derbyshire formed an effective brown background. At last, after spending 45 minutes here, I reluctantly started back, and taking the same road, I arrived home at 9.45pm. Nights like this make one wonder how it is that life itself cannot process the joy and freedom of a summer evening. Whilst cycling, however, one does capture that freedom, but after the ride, life to me is only a period of waiting for the next ride! 42 miles