Looking for Thursbitch

A sort of research journal 

First Section: up to 26th July

Began in Manchester when Annie was an undergraduate. I didn’t really know Garner as an adult writer, but was struck by the title. I’m still not sure about these etymologies: in what language is Thursbitch “Valley of the Demon”? But then the book: once through quickly, knocked out by the ending, then in more detail, less irritated on the second read by the acccents and what I now see as Garner’s idiocentric way of leaving so much unsaid in the dialogue but asking the  dialogie to stand for action and description in the narrative. I came to love it, to appreciate the surety of the storytelling and the poignancy of the story (I can’t say that in the plural).

And now the possibility of exploring the area – finding stones, esp the Neolithic cultic ones, the possible Cromlech from the book. All this alongside Alderley and Ludchurch.

OS maps OL24 and OS268 are only of partial use in printed form: the closer detail ones seem to have disappeared, my local source unable to find them either. Which map to buy? It’s almost as if the hamlet sits deliberately out of view, tucked into Garner, tucked into the cusp between two not-especially-useful maps, tucked into an obscure valley. I revise my need: if I only get to see down into the valley from Pym’s Chair maybe that will be enough.

I buy the maps, having sat on the floor in Waterstones wondering which to get. I sit at my desk reading How to get a Grid Reference and remembering Miss Parkinson and, let’s face it, Mr Lawson too – remembering Bev Clack saying to me something like “every research question is a question we need to answer about ourselves” (I precis).

Digimaps. Ah yes. Another day.