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A Lease of life

21 June 2009
Ben Pentreath
4 Comments

The still of evening; a quiet, soft pink sunset on the longest day of the year. At the end of a wonderful weekend, I have just spent an hour alone at The Old Parsonage, in a tiny village tucked away in a valley in far West Dorset, and at the house on which I have today taken a ten year lease.

The house is silent, empty, somewhat forlorn; the garden is overgrown with thistles and brambles. In a week, the builders, house painters and carpenters arrive, and its melancholy calm will be broken.

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But for now, here it is. I am not sure I know a more wonderful house. Some thirty years ago I spent some of the happiest summers of my life here, with my best friend, age seven. It is strange and brilliant to be back. Moments like this feel life changing; an amazing lease of life.

4 comments on this post

Finally found the ur-post of you renting the Parsonage. Deeply wonderful…and so cool. Jeronimo!

Nicola Barriesays:

Hello Ben

How exciting for me! I discovered your website and blog some months ago and both have been my faithful friends – every Monday and most other days, since! Feeling a bit under the weather today, I have taken myself to be with the laptop and have started reading your blog from the beginning (2009). I have just stumbled on this one – the one where you have signed the 10 year lease on The Parsonage. I do know what’s to come as I have read the more recent blogs and have also devoured your gorgeous book. I’m probably not sick enough to spend the day in bed – however I think I will have to fake it so I can immerse myself in your blogs – and see the transformation to The Parsonage, garden – not to mention seeing and reading all of your other beautiful ‘things’ in your life. No doubt Peter will turn up shortly to hunt me outside to do something with prickly things in paddock. FYI, Peter and I met just before I left for the UK to study at The Inchbald – which I completed and loved – and loved living in a tiny studio not far from the School – but close to ‘everything’. I had planned to try to stay for a while and immerse myself in London/UK and beautiful things, but I came back to Peter and now find myself living in very different surroundings. Many parts of Australia and beautiful – where I am living is not! It is quite bleak on the eye – dry, flat, spiky. I escape to books, blogs (yours), and away when I can, and hope to get back to London to spend longer there and explore the UK more. I do love the country. I must tell you that my Peter is rather gorgeous! Anyway – back to The Parsonage!

Dear Ben Pentreath,
What a wonderful magical house…
………and what a wonderful site. Just stumbled across it… Love the combination of architecture and interiors. I’m a London based architectural weaver and know Elanor Pritchard and Alpa Mistry.
Will drop into your shop one of these days. All the Best to you, Ptolemy Mann

BRO! A paradise under English skies. The sum total of Pope, Dryden, Milton……….you lucky thing. Let me know if you need any help with the garden. Your very faithful Bro. x

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