Don Donovan's World

Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author - 02 September 2012

Leaves From My Sketchbooks. 14. St. John's, Barrhill

I made a note in my sketchbook that read: 'Very simple church, almost severe. In a lovely grassy glen surrounded by old trees and empty cottages. I felt as if I were in the ghost of Goldsmith's "Sweet Auburn! Loveliest village of the plain".' The drawing looks ghostly too, the church is actually more colourful than that..

On the day I sketched in the churchyard all was still and I saw nobody. Around what seemed laid out like a village square were just a few empty weekenders and one permanent house; the leafy common lands were being grazed by sheep with no sense of history.