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.


Beautiful pictures of the countryside covered in fog and mist and then the bright sunshine. Love that it certainly looks like Spring is coming with the primrose and such lush greenery. Happy that Mavis is out and about. Very happy to hear that the design field is busy and that the shop is doing well with all of the restrictions. Canada this winter in Toronto is lush and green, which is quite amazing. Hopefully it will stay that way and we too get an early start to spring. Trying so hard to stay optimistic about the issues in the States and hope the best for our neighbours. We are heading for more restrictions here and today cozy with my crumpets and tea and a good read. I hope Spring will bring positive things for us all. So miss still my 6 trips to London a year and visiting your shop and staff more and more. Great hope for the future.

Darlene Chandler

Ethereal and lovely, Ben – thank you.

Mary-Anne Borrowdale

Thank you for the perspective, Ben. Listening to the radio this morning, I learned that many politicians from both parties are welcoming the chance to make positive changes in Washington D.C. in 2021, hopefully to forestall any more nightmares like the past 4 years. The attack on the U.S. Capitol last week, if I may use a suitably disgusting metaphor, was like the bursting of a giant, infected pimple on the face of “Uncle Sam”. Once the detritus has drained away, our country will be on the way to healing and health, and vigilant against new infections.

Meanwhile, how I love the photo of Charlie in his new greenhouse! And glad to hear Mavis is back. Bless you all.



Diane Keane

I knew where you were going with this from the first sentence, and I was very happy to float along with you to the end because I know you are wise. In the last week or so, I have gone through days of shock, disbelief, rage, and fear and then, inevitably, into serenity. My job in life is to love my family, order seeds, and plant them, and I will. Bless you, Ben.

Deborah Wagner

Please add my name to your mailing list. I love receiving the posts but must rely on a friend to send them.
Best, Jennifer

Jennifer Campbell

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