Out of the fog comes hope


Our walk this morning somehow felt appropriate.

It was a beautiful morning, but a thick fog filled the valley. The air was still, silent, muffled. No one was about.

Trees appeared like ghosts in the landscape. 

We climbed the hill, as always, at just the moment the sun was rising. 

And, coming up above the clouds, we entered the most beautiful winter landscape…

Everyone was happy… the dogs were happy.  Some of you have kindly been asking about Mavis’s absence. She’d had a cut, we’re not sure how, and hadn’t wanted to go on every morning walk recently. All good now – that is the Mavis roll of happiness, when she hurtles down the hillside on her back. 

I’ve got to admit, I can’t really remember a morning like it…

Friendly cows in the lower paddocks…

Later this morning, the garden was bathed in warm, spring-like sunshine. 

Charlie’s new growing bed is full of promise… and soon to be full of composted manure. 

The structure of the winter garden is almost more beautiful than thinking about how this will all look in a few weeks, a few months’ time. 

The gardener in his new happy place… And, on the bank above the house, I suddenly noticed dozens of tiny early primroses – perhaps a bit too early for their own good, if we carry on getting hard frosts like these. 

But what a beacon of hope and promise they provide – of spring, and of Easter, not too far around the corner now.

America, the country I love so much, has been through a bitter week.  Britain – indeed the whole of Europe – is going through our own bitter weeks too, as severe lockdown strangles the ebb and flow of normal life once more.

But do you mind my saying that I’m optimistic about 2021? It just feels to me that the turbulent seas of politics are calming a little; and it feels also that we can see a clear – albeit still distant – end to the pandemic.  Closer to home – back to my mantra, of worrying about the things that you can deal with yourself… the design practice is busy – and I know many others are too. We’re not working side by side as I’d like, but that will come. The shops of Lambs Conduit Street somehow are surviving – Bridie, Emily and I have been quite overwhelmed, if I could just say, by the support that so many customers have given the shop over these past few months. Spring is just around the corner, and the days are perceptibly longer – and that always puts a bounce in my step!  But today, just somehow, I really felt it all the more.

I hope you have too.

12 comments on this post

  • Jagnan

    Lovely photos-so peaceful. I am glad to hear about Mavis. I missed her.

  • Liz Allen

    Love your winter shots (ours here in Annan ONT are a little more snowy)! Enjoying your morning fog photos lifting in the sunshine reminds me of the morning mists lifting in the meadows of my Aunt and Uncle’s farm in the South Island of NZ. We had our family visits during Canadian Summer – best time to ship off the kids to visit rellies. Thanks for stirring that memory -mean to look for my photos from then today. I now can’t remember a time not walking your hills with you virtually and appreciate the spirit lift they always bring, especially over the past year. May 2021 be kind to you and Charlie, and your furry kids.

  • Teddy Witherspoon

    Am envious of Mavis’s “roll of happiness “. What a life!

  • Annelies

    I hope your wishes come true and that the pandemic will give us creativity and positivity for the world and all who live here

  • Dana Jenkins

    I too appreciate your thoughtful, optimistic, musings but really all I needed was to see mavis in her ‘roll of happiness’ and Charlie in the greenhouse!

  • Trudy

    Dear Ben, almost always when I find myself in a state of excitement appropriate to the current circumstances, your optimistic words come and calm me down at the right time. Your great photos of Dorset bring back many memories of this beautiful part of England, where I have had many wonderful vacations and I hope to have again soon. Thank you very much for your blog, that is doing me so good and which I am always looking forward to. I wish you all a happy new and hopefully healthy year Greetings from Germany…

  • Marion Buchanan

    I share your optimism and hope to infect others! I am certain of an explosion of creativity ahead after these dark times. Sending positive vibes!!!

  • Kay Langevin

    Thank you, thank you for your incredible lovely post! How can one not have hope in such a beautiful place; all the new growth, so much promise! And happy dogs.

  • Tracy Gooding

    Dear Ben,
    There is something about the natural world and seasons that just puts everything into perspective. We are heading toward the longest day and by just getting out and about for walks and observing the little signs, that truly we can always find hope. Charlie is in his element with the greenhouse, looking forward to seeing the beauty and bounty.

  • Mike

    I’m feeling optimistic too,really what’s the alternative at the moment? But I’m a realist as well and it’s going to be a very turbulent time in the states for the foreseeable future. Aside from the political turmoil we’re recording record COVID deaths here in California,almost 700 yesterday with no end in sight. On a positive note my spouse has received both jabs now being a physician on the front lines and there is hope at long last. But at the moment it is dreadful. I wish you,Charlie,the pets and indeed all of old Blighty a Happy New Year.

  • Jessica Marcum

    Thank you, as always, for your calm and optimistic perspective. This continues to be one of my very favorite corners of the internet. Now, more than ever!

  • southern gal

    thank you for your kind words to those of us Americans… its been a horrific week, the culmination of four nightmare years and the realization of many of our fears. 1-20 can not come soon enough.
    seeing your wonderful photos and the GREENHOUSE!!! is so relaxing taking me to another world…
    and happy new year to you both! (and the animals!)

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