Early in 2015 I was spending a lot of time in North Devon and often stayed in the van near Fremington Quay, just outside Barnstaple. On a walk along the beach one evening I found a cairn that had been built by a family to commemorate a loved one. It could have been tacky, but wasn't at all. And unbelievably it had been left alone and intact although it had clearly been there for some time. I felt a song coming on...
If you take a walk on Fremington Beach
There's a patch of ground that the tide doesn't reach
And a pile of stones like a pterodactyl's nest
In the spot where Kenny Liked to rest
And where those who loved him most
Gathered on this stretch of coast.
Wooden hearts and plastic toys all bleached in the sun
Unprotected and exposed, but untouched by anyone
A teddy bear, and an old fir cone
Silver bells and a garden gnome
All transformed by this work of art
To melt this hardened cynic's heart.
And as if our lives were somehow merged
I found his name with a Google search
A sudden stroke at 62
Took this husband, father, grandfather too.
And the hole he left in their lives is shown
By this little pile of stones.