Many Waters Cannot Quench Love

On a recent home exchange in Chichester, I visited the enchanting village of Bosham, a settlement in one of the sea inlets that make up Chichester Harbour.

Chichester  is a very pretty town, built within a city wall that has existed since Roman times. We stayed in an adorable cottage which the owners affectionately referred to as ‘The Wendy House.’ Built in the 17th century and Grade II listed it looked similar to an almshouse (or Dutch hofje). In a row of terraced houses, it did indeed have dolls’ house proportions with low doorways and ceilings, original beams and a double door that opened out onto a miniature walled garden. The Swedish Jotul wood burner was lovely to read and snooze in front of, on the many wet afternoons during our stay.

My other half was also kept amused by the nesting pair of peregrine falcons that have used the spire on Chichester Cathedral to raise their brood for the past twelve years. Even though I’m not a twitcher myself, it was fascinating to watch the adult birds swooping around the cathedral turrets trying to get the fledglings to take flight. At least it was fascinating for five minutes, which is why I will never make a fully fledged birdwatcher! Sorry for the awful pun 😉

We decided to visit nearby Bosham  in the evening. The tide was out so we could walk along the road around the harbor wall. There was a leaden, lowering sky which gave the metallic sea a gothic look. I could imagine it would look totally different on a sunny afternoon with the coloured boats jostling against each other, children licking ice creams and the waves gently lapping against the harbour wall. But this spring evening was a stark contrast. The tendrils of seaweed hanging off the railings, black tarred buildings and the eerie clanking of boats’ bells in the wind made me think of the setting for Susan Hill’s, ‘The Woman in Black’  and the sinister Eel Marsh House. This ghost story of a vengeful, female spirit, holds a deep fascination for me; I’ve read the book, seen the West End play and the film. Susan Hill is a master of the ghost story genre. Creating psychological chills that resonate long after the book is finished.

Hubby took some photos of Bosham that give you a good impression of the slightly spooky atmosphere. There is a legend that King Canute’s daughter was drowned in Bosham. Here is a poignant poem about the legend by Denise Bennett, Canute’s Daughter.

On the wall surrounding Bosham Church there was a plaque in memory of a young woman that drowned. This plaque has inspired the title of this post. The quote is from the Song of Solomon 8

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About susancarey

Writer and teacher living in Amsterdam. Trying to be mindful and occasionally succeeding!
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2 Responses to Many Waters Cannot Quench Love

  1. Sally Robinson says:

    Hello Susan,
    Are you back in town? I’ve missed a few of your intervening bloggies. Loved your descriptions of your house and Chichester. Sorry about the weather, but it has its charms. I had an uncle who lived in Chichester. Two in fact. One had a flat full of antiques belonging to his second (horrible!) wife. I stayed there with 2 small children and had to lace their nightcaps with honey and whiskey to get them off to bed early and lower my stress levels. I remember a clock in the middle of town, and lovely shops.

    Like

  2. susancarey says:

    Thanks for the comment,Sally! Chichester is great for shopping, especially shoes! The mini tower in the middle of town is great for getting your bearings. Your experience with your uncle sounds like it could be the start of a great short story…

    Like

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