- Aug 2, 2001
I intend to visit the location, though the grave of the boggart may be hard to pin-point!
I did exactly that this afternoon and my prediction was predictably predictable. Never mind. Gristlehurst Lane is helpfully signposted as a public bridle-path and continues as tarmac for a while. There are more dwellings than appeared on my A to Z. It was a mild, grey afternoon and there was only the odd sound of cows shoulder-to-shoulder beyond the hedgerows to disturb the silence. They shifted without the need to emit a single vocal note.
On the map, the route looks square but it is more irregular on the ground. Beyond the half-way mark, the signpost changed from Bridle Path to Footpath. I was beyond the reach of Range Rovers, at least. In fact the way ahead resembled a muddy stream between two grassy banks. Soon I could hear the traffic on the Bury-Rochdale road and the route widened to take the wheels of motor vehicles from the gated farms. All too soon I was back.
I think the whole walk took about twenty minutes and I was back at the car by five-o-clock. A bit of turmeric-coloured shit on my shoe was quickly remedied. Had I learned anything of the Boggart?
Only that the land around there falls away at intervals into sudden dells, some seeming to have been scooped out of the landscape with a giant cup. We might imagine things buried there. I think we would listen in vain for any rich dialect; the region is gentrified with the pubs turned to expensive bistros. I encountered no one to ask but a weird stranger thinking of boggarts would probably be deemed a menace here; perhaps I was the boggart in that landscape now?