Feeling is both an emotional and a physical phenomenon asserts (Tanner 2006:88) so Dr. Rob Irving and Dr. Davina Kirkpatrick chose to attend to both through a shared ritual/performance that gave attention to the haptic, visual, aural, olfactory, and gustatory.
As Ingold (2000: 189) proposes to perceive the landscape is therefore to carry out an act of remembrance, and remembering is not so much a matter of calling up an internal image, stored in the mind, as of engaging perceptually with an environment that is itself pregnant with the past.
It began with conversations, possibilities and plans to revisit the place (Hergest Ridge, Herfordshire) that his family had sprinkled some of her cremains. It continued with talking, attentive listening, stories of present – mystery, magic and the trickster, stories linked to past, linked to future accompanied by the subtle soundtrack of 1940s dance music. Rob’s memories of his mum, Dorsey, and recollected stories told to him by her and other relatives of her life before and after marriage and children accompanied two car journeys to Kington and walks and rituals at Whetstone on the top of the ridge.
All photos by Dr. Rob Irving