Where have the weeks flown?

29 April 2018
Ben Pentreath

One minute, it was winter.  The next minute, it was high summer.  And I’m writing this evening, at the Parsonage, next to a fire, with cold grey clouds scudding across the sky and a chill wind blowing from the north.  Not feeling very springlike… although spring is everywhere now, at last.

I’m sorry for not posting. I’m really not sure where the time has flown. Charlie and I have been around and about quite a lot, hardly in Dorset at all, it feels. And perhaps it’s as simple as that.

During the great heatwave of a couple of weeks ago, when high summer deliciously, suddenly hit London, I did find myself down in North Dorset for work. Strictly speaking I should have jumped on the train at Salisbury back to the office again, but I called Charlie and somehow persuaded him to come and collect me and bring me home, all so that we could get up at an excruciatingly early hour for me to catch the first train up the following morning. But so worth it – for that beautiful warm evening. Charlie’s tulips, which had been keeping themselves pretty quiet during the cold weather beforehand, suddenly all came into flower at once.  The garden was looking amazing.

We were back in London on Friday night for a dreamy, balmy birthday party for a friend, with a nautical theme (did you guess?), in one of the garden squares in Notting Hill.  

It felt like being in an Edwardian film by Merchant Ivory.  The following morning, Charlie and the dogs went west, but I was heading up to Suffolk for the ‘Gavin’s day’, a lunch we hold every year with my old office in memory of one of our colleagues who died – far too young – of cancer, a few years ago now. We get together every year.  It was a good day of memory and catching up with old friends, and realising that we all worked together some 25 years ago now – how time flies.

The blackthorn was out and looking beautiful.

I stayed for a night with Charles and Rachel. The following morning, a little walk around their beautiful garden before I took the train back down to London.

Looking down to the veg garden, and up to Blythburgh church tower, from the new tree house.

Bridie and I had a late lunch and a long catch up and brainstorm on shop plans for the rest of the year – lots of exciting ideas are happening.

Then another week rushes by; this weekend, back to Dorset – cold, grey, but full of tulips, and, blissfully, with no plans whatsoever.

The veg patch is like a candy store.  Charlie has worked wonders this year. 

A cold walk on Saturday. 

Lunch in the pub with Mum and Dad at Powerstock.

A little walk around Powerstock, popping into the serene church:

And back, via Wynford Eagle Manor, on our way home – my dream house, like something out of a picture book.

Mum was as sad as ever to say goodbye to Sibyl.

This afternoon, a walk in the woods to pick wild garlic leaves, carpeting the woodland floor this week and next. And home, and sleeping, napping, reading, a bit of writing, and catching up. I cleared the attic this morning, which had gone crazy.  The quietest weekend in weeks has just passed by, and it feels very good.


Finally, please if you have not already done so, I’d be so grateful if you could consider a donation to our church roof fund.  Not shown in the totals on that page are the many, many generous cheques that we have received in the office as well (details below). We are doing very well!

Thank you all for your amazing generosity.

To donate by cheque, please send a cheque made to: The Parochial Church Council of Littlebredy – and you could send to me c/o Ben Pentreath Ltd., 3 Lamp Office Court, London WC1N 3NF.


14 comments on this post


The Tulips are so beautiful. What hard work that must have been to plant! A labor of love I’m sure


Your photos of Charlie’s tulips and his garden are amazing. Thanks your for sharing them with us. I can’t even imagine the work that he does to make that garden so beautiful.

Deborah Wagnersays:

Lovely, lovely, lovely post. A shout out to Charlie: I am totally down with your hair. Fan-freakin’-tastic.

Nicola Lawrencesays:

Those photos of Charlie and your mother were so heartwarming Ben. Joy in the moment xx


You are always missed, but also always excused. Thank you for circling back. We just finished a glorious Chicago spring/summery day with blue skies, warm breezes, and very cautious budding activity. Your mom and Charlie (and Sybil) seem to have the most delightful smiles for one another. Love makes the world go round. Have a lovely, lovely. week.

alison lewissays:

Just one word …. breath taking! xx


Such a lovely blog. Thank you so much. You’ve been missed! The tulips are absolutely stunning.


Dear Ben & Charlie
Your garden is so beautiful,it`s amazing, really like a candy store 🙂
Thank you for sharing your past time with us, it is always a big pleasure to read your blog ! Busy weeks and also spent time with family and friends, love the photos with Charlie and your Mum , his hair looks very wild ………
The landscape is as always so pretty, wild garlic in the woodland …..WOW !!!
The donation for the church roof continues to grow, that`s fantastic !
Thank you for give us a glimpse into your life, wish you and your family all the best and a happy time !
Best wishes,
Yours Birgit from Germany 🙂


Nothing to apologise for,you are quite generous with your time in sharing a bit of your extraordinary life. I suspect I speak for many of your faithful readers when I say that it seems like reading your blog is like catching up with an old friend. Distance might separate us and we might not talk weekly but when we do connect it’s as if we’ve not skipped a beat. I do look forward to these posts (and the various Instagram accounts) to keep abreast of you,Charlie, Mavis, Sibyl et al.
Dorset is looking as gorgeous as ever, enjoy and have a lovely week.

David Sanderssays:

Liked your comment about Charlie’s veg patch looking like a “candy store.” A sort of happy riot of colour; I immediately had visions of Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory, when first I gazed upon its glory.


Your garden looks so pretty Ben the tulips are so colourful spring has finally arrived.Sybil is a little beauty l bet she has settled into her new home.So pleased the fund raising for the church is doing so well our old churches are national treasures to be preserved.Your church is one of the most beautiful l have visited in a most peaceful idyllic setting.Thank you for your kindness finding time in your busy life to write your blog it really is a treat.

Diane Keanesays:

Charlie’s tulips and Charlie’s hair–equally bonkers!! (She said affectionately!) I recently bought some tulip bulbs at the local garden center which I was assured are deer-proof. Time will tell. Five tulips have managed to sneak up without them noticing.This year even some of the hyacinths were chomped off, which usually they do not bother with. Perhaps the extended winter? Here in Pittsburgh we’re saying that today is the 60th of March.

I enjoyed the photos of Powerstock, including the church. There is something about a portiere that always enchants me, maybe the air of mystery?

It is always a treat seeing your Mum! Best wishes to you all and thank you for the post!



wow! on the forest carpet of wild garlic leaves and thankful for the resident plastic chair guarding the beautiful powerstock church! thank you for sharing your charlie’s magical tulip garden and your english kindness in photos, dear ben! blessings to you and charlie and those furr girls.


I love reading you blog so much, it is so relaxing! I’d love to see a few pics from your parents flat….pleaseee 😉

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