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Days lengthening



Ben

Sorry for no blog last week. The trouble is, life’s pretty busy from time to time, as I’m sure you know. So there will be the odd intermittent delay – I’m sure you don’t notice or mind.

One thing I have noticed is the days suddenly getting longer.  Of course, it’s not sudden at all – about 3 or 4  minutes every day, as our neighbour Nicky was saying on Friday evening – but that’s twenty minutes a week, or an hour every three weeks – and that’s when you notice things. It creeps up on us, quietly, but one day you wake up and think “golly, the sun is up already”.  Or one afternoon you’re walking home from work and think… goodness, it’s quarter to six and it’s still light.

It’s a moment in the year I adore. Strange to think that in four weeks’ time it will be Easter, which is when (someone said today) the clocks change. Spring is coming fast.

It’s been a beautiful weekend in Dorset, cold, with grey starts, but the cloud burning through to give way to afternoons of warm sunshine. Charlie and I haven’t been up to too much at all, except to re-charge batteries, see friends, potter about and catch breath.

The sunshine streamed into the kitchen late on Saturday afternoon….

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In the dining room, Charlie has set up trestle tables to get his sweet pea seedlings going, in the big bay windows, which for now are the best we have for a greenhouse:

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The sun was pouring into the drawing room.P1070757

The garden work is finished, and is looking amazing, although of course it probably now needs a year or two to settle in.P1070758 P1070759 P1070760 P1070761

The grass terrace feels so long. The house sits more comfortably, the whole garden feels so much larger. It’s transformational.
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Tulips are in flower, stunted little things that need far more warmth and daylight to grow properly, but there we are….P1070762P1070773

In the veg garden, Charlie’s rows of daffodils are doing much better.P1070774 P1070776 P1070778 P1070780 P1070783 P1070784

Charlie’s moved his stand of bulbs into a sunny spot on the south side, between the bay windows.P1070786 P1070789 P1070790 P1070797 P1070804 P1070809

We went for an evening walk up the valley, the light a soft warm grey.P1070818 P1070819 P1070821 P1070822

Today we went down the coast for lunch in Seatown, where the sea was sparkling and the wind cold and brisk.  On our way home we called in to see Chris and Caddy, our friends with the dreamiest house just in the next door village to ours. If you’re familiar with my book you’ll know that their interiors played a quietly starring role. But the garden is just as beautiful.P1070829

Chris and Caddy have just chopped down a stunted brute of an old tree that dominated the garden. There must be something in the air in the valley at the moment – time to get rid of old trees that are doing no good to anyone.  The result is extraordinary – the walled garden can breathe again, and feels like a blank canvas waiting for Caddy to work her magic.P1070830

I love this house, with its eccentric old stone facade, perfectly beautiful.
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And this evening we went for another walk down the valley, marvelling at the soft golden sunset, and the fact that it was still daylight at 6 o clock…P1070833 P1070835 P1070838 P1070840 P1070842 P1070843 P1070844 P1070845 P1070846 P1070847

And we walked home feeling quiet, and rested, and incredibly happy, savouring this moment where the countryside hangs in the balance between winter and spring, waiting for the turn.

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