11 February 2018
If you are driving along the lanes not too far from us, just to the west of the village of Long Bredy, you will see a beautiful display of snowdrops extending all the way along the verges, for hundreds of feet. The snowdrops must now number in their thousands. I’ve loved those snowdrops for years, now; this can’t be first or even the second time that I’ve posted photographs of them. But I learned recently that they were planted over many decades by Jill Maltby, our neighbour, who used to come to our church without fail every other Sunday, until she sadly died last autumn.
Every year, Jill would plant more and more snowdrops here, outside her house, and split the plants that she had already planted. Now, the verges will sparkle with the results of her labour for ever.
At moments when you might wonder what life is all about, I think Jill’s example is rather powerful. Quietly, unremarked, unnoticed, she has made-in a small moment-something extraordinary, for ever.
If I’ve said, time and again on the blog, that my mantra is: don’t worry about the state of the world… fear not the things you cannot control; embrace the things you can. Make hundreds of tiny simple differences. If we all do that, the world really will become a better place.
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Yesterday, rain again came sweeping through west Dorset. The day was grey and grim. Like last week, we sidled in and out of a miserable Bridport, the market abandoned to the weather. The Parsonage was sodden as great waves of rain battered the valley. I caught up on a bit of work. Charlie suddenly discovered – after months and months of looking on at breeder’s websites – a corgi puppy for sale. So that was a turn up for the books. Sibyl will be arriving in a fortnight. Amazing. Watch this space!
We went for lunch with our friends Gracie & Adrian over at amazing Little Toller Books (it has been too long) and ate delicious lamb reared by their friend Alexa at Lower Hewood Farm, who was also there for the day. For a bitterly cold, wintry Saturday, life couldn’t have got any rosier. We ate and drank and chatted and darkness fell. Eventually we got home and had a movie night.
Today was bright and sparkling, but still with great waves of sleet and hail bursting intermittently across the landscape. Our friend Emily (who, if you ever are travelling to Italy, you need to know: she runs Bellini Travel) was down, borrowing a friend’s house for the week. Could we come for lunch? We could.
After eating too much, again, we went for that sort of walk which reminds me why I love this particular part of our country so much. I think the pictures tell a better story than words.
We could for a moment have been on the Scottish moors. As we turned and headed for home, a huge hailstorm swept again over the coast.
It wasn’t too long before we were engulfed.
And then the weather cleared again, to reveal a beautiful soft sunset. We had had to tear ourselves away. I have an early start in the morning, from London. So I’m on the train, missing Charlie and Mavis and Henry, by the fire at the Old Parsonage for another evening. It is very hard to tear myself away on nights like this, but I suppose that from time to time, that is life – one that is best made up of very small moments.