The still of evening; a quiet, soft pink sunset on the longest day of the year. At the end of a wonderful weekend, I have just spent an hour alone at The Old Parsonage, in a tiny village tucked away in a valley in far West Dorset, and at the house on which I have today taken a ten year lease.
The house is silent, empty, somewhat forlorn; the garden is overgrown with thistles and brambles. In a week, the builders, house painters and carpenters arrive, and its melancholy calm will be broken.
But for now, here it is. I am not sure I know a more wonderful house. Some thirty years ago I spent some of the happiest summers of my life here, with my best friend, age seven. It is strange and brilliant to be back. Moments like this feel life changing; an amazing lease of life.