The air is slipping into an autumn mood. Trees are turning; the light takes on that extraordinary glow that I love so much at this time of year.

This is a quiet blog; there’s not much to say, as it’s been a busy, busy week and a quiet weekend away. We were staying with friends just below the Oxfordshire Ridgeway. On Saturday, and Sunday, we had the most beautiful morning walks. The air was still and the views extraordinary. 

The landscape has a particular way with curves that would have appealed to Paul Nash, still more to his brother John. 

I loved this corner of the lane with its two curves, one moving up to the right, the other, down to the left. A fork in the road. 

We walked through a beautiful valley, filled with fine parkland trees – although apparently the house was lost…

A telegraph pole, like a Ravilious watercolour. 

It was a weekend of endless chat, reading the papers, sleeping, books, breakfast, lunch, supper, generous drinks trays – and of taking care. How hard to arrive and to leave without a hug and a handshake….and that feeing perhaps, just perhaps, of the last weekend away for a little while. And on Sunday afternoon we drove back down to Dorset with the dogs exhausted out of their minds.

Charlie’s dahlias are just about at their peak.

Flowers and the colour of the sunset merge.

The vegetable garden isn’t really a veg patch any more.  It’s a dahlia cutting garden…

Filled with extraordinary colours and combinations…

The meadow is cut. 

The garden is still overflowing…

This morning, we woke early and walked under leaden skies, but with the promise of sunshine. 

I love this turning point of the year; when colours, smells, and the whole landscape settles into their winter sleep. But it’s a strange moment too; my mind wants a sense of certainty when there is none; of perspective when it is hard to fathom where the weeks will take us.

I’m back in London tonight; time to focus on the small things, and to keep as busy as you are able.


11 comments on this post

  • Ann McDonald

    Thank you for showing us Charlie’s gorgeous dahlias. Here in New Zealand we are getting ready to plant ours so it’s lovely to see what we have to look forward to – easy to forget after a few months of winter.

  • Ellen Creighton

    Reading your blog and looking at your pictures is like looking at a love story. Love for the world, your partner and your life. It is a really beautiful thing. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Debra Moore

    Lovely photos and words as always Ben and your doggies must be the happiest and luckiest dogs in the world.Thankyou for sharing you really do inspire us all to observe nature our world and enjoy life.

  • Clay McCleery

    Your puppy pictures always make me smile.
    And the dahlias!

  • Dorothy

    It strikes me, Ben, that you are doing that most difficult of things – and living for the day….
    God bless you and Charlie – and all who sail in your little ship.

  • Catherine Shortis

    Ahh you were just down the road from our home. Glad you and your dogs explored and enjoyed our peaceful countryside. Have a good week!

  • erik sexton

    it’s encouraging that you haven’t allowed the incessant gloom of 2020 to alter your happiness .

  • Kenton C McCoy

    I love the photograph of the dogs sunbathing in the garden! Ours do that too, always migrating to the sunniest spot…

  • Yvane DURAND

    Dear Ben ,
    What a good idea to send today, especially today, your blog and photos with Charlie’s Flowers, the dogs and yr special touch !
    Many thanks, Have all a good week.

  • jane marshall

    i love the continuity of reading how you ‘ love this turning point of the year’

  • Malcolm Pym

    I’m SO envious of Charlie’s dahlias, they are magnificent.

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