25 July 2020

July Garden

cloudy skies
shells gathered from Anderby Creek (Xmas 2018) scattered on the patio

an extraordinarily large flower from the hosta

No cycling today as the weather is a bit unsettled and windy.  Paul is busy weeding his vegetable plot and is very excited because he’s just spotted his first Brussels sprouts forming. The hugelkultur (no-dig raised bed) has been successful and it’s still producing some big and juicy strawberries.  No raspberries yet, the canes got battered by those early winds so we have relocated the plants to a more sheltered spot.  The blueberries are doing well and we shall have a second crop to harvest soon.

the blue bowl in one of a treasured pair, a gift from two very young daughters

It’s been quite a difficult year for gardeners, very windy weather a few weeks ago and now a widespread invasion of blackfly.  The fruit trees, however, are doing exceptionally well.  There will be a surplus of apples and plums so we intend to make wine in the autumn!

24 July 2020


Congratulations, daughter of mine, on officially becoming an Australian citizen today.  It’s been a tough journey for you but I’m very proud of what you have accomplished since you left the UK with your big, bright dream.  I wish you lived just around the corner instead of the other side of the world.  But my love for you knows no distance.

Be happy and enjoy your wonderful life.

22 July 2020

Books and TV

I’ve just had a new book delivered, Big Sky by Kate Atkinson. It was cheaper to buy the paperback than have it put on my Kindle.  I’m a fan of Atkinson’s writing and this is her latest work of fiction featuring private detective Jackson Brodie .  One of the reasons I like these stories are that they are based in North Yorkshire, an area I used to know so well.

Very easy and entertaining reading.  Can’t wait to start it but I am trying to hold off until I’ve finished my current book Why the Dutch are Different by Ben Coates.  This is a travelogue/history written in the style of Bill Bryson, but not as funny.  I’m learning a lot about the country, not least that the Dutch are tall and strong due to the amount of milk that they drink!

We have just finished watching an excellent Nordic noir Swedish mystery series on channel 4 catch up.  It was called The Truth Will Out (Det som göms i snö) and based on an element of fact.  I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters and actors were refreshingly understated, very different to the  usual British and Amercian TV dramas.

21 July 2020

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive, and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me. There was a padlock and a chain upon the gate. I called in my dream to the lodge-keeper, and had no answer, and peering closer through the rusted spokes of the gate I saw that the lodge was uninhabited. No smoke came from the chimney, and the little lattice windows gaped forlorn. Then, like all dreamers, I was possessed of a sudden with supernatural powers and passed like a spirit through the barrier before me. (Daphne du Maurier)

Last night I dreamt I went to Maison Pierre again.  There was Maison Pierre, secretive and silent as it had always been, the grey stone shining in the moonlight of my dream. We are back in our French house and feeling like intruders because we know it is not ours any more.  But we are surrounded by our personal possessions, the old brown leather armchairs, our pictures on the walls, our books on the shelves.  We know we are not supposed to be there and must hurry and go before the new owners return.  A strange and recurring dream.

Of course we miss our old home in France and the long, lazy summers. I miss the old house with its crumbling walls and creaky stairs.  I miss the owls in the tower. I miss the views across the valley. I miss the happy times we had there with friends and family.  I miss that feeling of excitement and anticipation for our life ahead that we had when we first moved out there.

But Lincolnshire is a good consolation prize and we are making new friends and memories here.  If only the sun could stay out a bit longer!  The country lanes are as quiet here as those in the Dordogne and cycling is still a pleasure.

If we ever go back to France for a holiday we shall explore a different region, it would be unbearably poignant to visit our old haunts.