Staying still

I haven’t felt like moving very far this weekend. And I haven’t moved very far at all.  I walked down for tea with my landlord yesterday, and across the road for a delicious supper with our neighbours Jim and Nic last night, and across the garden to church this morning. And that was that – no more, no less.

A good thing. Last week was hectic… three long days in Oxfordshire, County Durham and Norfolk in quick succession, each with an earlier start than the day before. It was a weary me that drove down to Dorset late on Friday night, chatting on the phone to Charlie (who was already in Saturday morning) to keep myself awake. I arrived at the Parsonage by the light of a bright moon and fell into bed.

The rest of the country, as far as I could tell, was enjoying warm spring sunshine all weekend, but a thick coastal fog lingered in Dorset. I sometimes find that I’m frustrated if I’m in London pouring with rain knowing that the sun is shining in the West Country, or vice versa. But this weekend, the gentle grey light suited my mood perfectly.

This was this morning, looking out of the dining room window.


Potatoes were chitting, ready to be planted before I head away.P1080872

In the sitting room the light was even gloomier.  The house was dark and quiet, and felt so empty. P1080874

Even the scented geraniums on the stair landing were a little melancholic:P1080879

Or in a bedroom window:P1080881 P1080882

P1080889From the attic you could see hardly anything:P1080886

I must admit. I didn’t mind this at all. When you’ve been rushing around, there’s nothing better than going no-where and doing nothing… quietly letting the mind wander. And I don’t mind admitting either… golly gosh, I’m missing Charlie just now. I cannot WAIT to be heading to New Zealand.  We’re counting down the days now.

In the late afternoon the clouds finally cleared and the house was suddenly filled with warm, bright, redemptive sunshine, streaming in through the bay windows. I had a sleep on the sofa in the window which is about a nice a thing as you could do on a Sunday afternoon.

P1080895 P1080897 P1080898I’ve cleared the dining room. The purple (Patrick Baty’s ‘Plum’) has had its day and is shortly to be replaced with a bright cornflower blue. Charlie’s choice! I think I’m going to love it.P1080899

Piles of stuff made their way to the kitchen:P1080900 P1080901

Upstairs, bright sunlight bounced around the landings which just a couple of hours before had been grey and gloomy:P1080905 P1080912And outside our bedroom window the garden sparkled:
P1080908 P1080920

Crocuses are in the meadow:P1080924 P1080925

And the first narcissus:P1080927 P1080928 P1080929

Yes. I got it done. A row of freshly-planted first early potatoes:P1080933

A familiar view:P1080936 P1080937

And the dying rays of the sun:P1080941

For supper tonight I had forced rhubarb. Insanely soft pink and delicious.P1080945 P1080947

I love the quiet days down here. They really are unbeatable. I was meant to be driving back up to London tonight, but I couldn’t face the motorway… or, for that matter, moving anywhere at all.  So I decided to stay down another night.  My neighbour Mike will give me a lift to the station tomorrow morning, earlier than either of us like to think about.  It’s been a perfect completely silent evening.  There is nothing quite as good as staying still.


I’m conscious that a lot of very good questions were posted on the last blog and I’m sorry not to have had time to answer any of them yet! I’ll do my best.  It was one of those weeks.

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