Charlie and I are just back from a wonderful week in the mountains. Staying at our absolutely favourite hotel… Built in the later 19th century, and (with a few modifications) hardly changed since. The only way up is on a tiny funicular railway. No cars, and after the slopes have closed in the afternoon, only total silence. It’s a heavenly place to get away for a moment. This is a snatched glimpse of one of the hotel kitchens. You can see immediately that this is a very good place. The light on the mountains changes by the minute. Lunch at a neighbouring hotel in Wengenalp. Another glimpsed view of their kitchen. Perfection also. (the waiters thought I was pretty crazy asking to take this photo, but I know you understand). On our last day, it really, really snowed. We left in a blizzard after the happiest week. To start we’d been with a group of good friends, then as they left one by one (sorry, that makes it sound like a murder mystery) it was just Charlie and me for a couple of nights. We took the little train down the side of the mountain, all the way to Basel, and made our way home.
We got down to Dorset late last night. It’s been a drenched afternoon here, wave after wave of grey rain lashing the valley, but we had a lovely walk this morning with the dogs, the best of the day. Spring is everywhere, just waiting for a warm day. Something tells me it’s going to be a very good year for primroses. This is the area of primroses in the patch of the churchyard that we are now leaving alone for wildflowers without any mowing (except one cut, in the autumn). Incredible to see how they are spreading.
Charlie’s cutting patch is beginning to burst with life, although its interesting to see how much later things are this year than last.
This time a year ago, in March 2022, Charlie was a week away from entering this beautiful bunch of daffodils into the Upwey Show.
You can read all about that wonderful event here. But something tells me with this cold, late spring that we are having just now, things may not be in quite the same place next weekend.
One of the beauties of the blog for me, now, is I think to see how the rhythms of life are so similar yet so different each year. It is the smallest things that count. Here is the same weekend in 2021: the hills under hard, hard frost. Everything was late again.
And a year before that, of course, was early March 2020. I’ve just looked back. We’d had rain in Dorset for weeks. Ponds had appeared the valley that no-one had ever seen before. Charlie was away in New Zealand, and I was looking after the dogs for a month based down here. We were just beginning to read about the pandemic taking hold in Northern Italy. Who could see what was around the corner then?
What a strange, strange time it has been these last three years. It’s good to reflect quietly, though, that despite so much change – the really important things stay the same.