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Staying put



Ben

I suppose when you’ve been a very long way, the best thing of all is not to go very far at all. I’ve had a fortnight to get used to being home after NZ; Charlie’s been back for less than a week, and putting it finely – on a day like yesterday, with relentless rain sweeping through Dorset all day long – well, who wouldn’t rather be in Melbourne or New Zealand in the middle of a heatwave?  For a minute, in the sunshine, it can feel as if spring is around the corner – but cruel, sharp winds and grey sleeting rain remind us that winter is still here.

Friday evening was nonetheless beautiful.  We’d got down to Dorset that day… I’d come early, on the train, for meetings. Charlie and Mavis followed down later in the car.  It was a beautiful sunset that evening.

By the fire with Henry And Mavis.

Saturday was a wash-out. Bridport was deserted, and the market empty, that morning. We had breakfast at Soulshine and scuttled out of town as quickly as we had arrived.  We thought we all needed cheering up so took Mum & Dad out for lunch at the pub in Cattistock. A bright fire burned and a couple of pints of Guinness later, the world didn’t seem quite so grim.  I had a long sleep that afternoon.  We had drinks with our neighbours Ed & Christine (Christine’s new book, flour, is published very soon which is exciting).  Then Caddy came over for supper, and we had a nice quiet evening, and rolled in to bed glad that the day was over.

Today was bright and clear. We popped into Bridport and decided we’d head to the sea at Swyre.  I love the farmhouse there so much.  Amazing buildings.

Complete with an original shepherds hut in the farmyard.

I am fond of the holiday village in its way. Although it is a terrible scar on the landscape. 

A rather different day from July a couple of years ago when we first came down here with Mavis, then a puppy. 

The landscape was saturated, drenched.  The sea gleamed silver, like walking into a delicate Ravilious watercolour. 

Beautiful tones of lichen on hawthorn.

On Chesil Beach.

When Mavis first came near the sea, she couldn’t bear it. Now it’s impossible to keep her out of the water. 

If you come here in high summer, beautiful sea cabbages grow all across the beach.  Now, all that is left is dried out leaves. 

Teasels.

Exploring the churchyard.

Back home – washing off the salty water from Mavis in the lake. The water has never looked clearer than it is at the moment.

Snowdrops by the beech tree. 

Tulips and garlic coming up in the veg garden.

Sunday lunch table.

The wind was bitterly cold, but the sunshine streamed in the house all afternoon. Magical.

Sunset fell. 

Have you noticed the days getting longer?  Sunset is now an hour later than on the shortest day. Hope springs eternal.

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