Spring break

28 April 2019
Ben Pentreath

It’s been that magical moment since I last posted…. when spring breaks. 

The Easter weekend was beautifully hot and still in Dorset, but nonetheless the leaves on the trees were only just coming through.  The air was warm and balmy on our morning walks. 

Popping in to see our neighbour Jo on the Friday morning circuit… and her beautiful flowering trees in the garden…

While Charlie had been picking buckets of flowers to bring down to the church.

It was an amazing weekend of still, clear, hot days and warm evenings….

And bright mornings…. the leaves just turning – that magical moment. 

On Saturday evening we went round for drinks with Jim and Nic…. which turned into supper – delicious salmon, cooked on an open fire. 

Charlie’s tulips have been going crazy…

Not as crazy as Charlie…

On Easter Sunday we went for supper with Edward and Jane Hurst. Jane’s garden was looking extraordinary as always, serene in the pink dusk light.

And on Easter Monday, we had another day of tidying and packing and sorting the Parsonage, getting boxes and boxes of stuff ready to move to Scotland in a month or two.  Our morning walk was under a grey, flat light, but the heat came through later.

The church roof repairs, to which readers of this blog contributed so generously a year ago, start imminently. 

The garden is looking so beautiful at this time of year. I had to tear myself away on Monday night, to head back up to London…

Where it has been a busy, busy week. I think it’s always around the end of April that one has that feeling of the year flying past quicker than you can imagine.

Walking the dogs in Regent’s Park in the week, clouds of cow parsley, already….


And today, up on Hampstead Heath, brilliant green spring has burst entirely. 

Here’s the strangeness of the blog, which I realise now is as close as I’ve ever got to writing a diary – for ten years now.  For some one who hated diary writing, that’s a strange thing.  So, I was just looking back to last year, and the year before, to see whether spring was bursting quite so vigorously. It turns out, it was, in its way…. but then I found these two photos from this week last year of Mum, and Charlie, and then of Sibyl as a puppy.

Oh, how I miss her. Time moves on, relentlessly, steadily, majestically – changing all the time, but unchanging as well.

16 comments on this post


Just how long are you planning for spring break?
Missing your Inspiration


I just remarked to a friend “May already, 5 months in – where has the time gone?”. Hence I’m terribly late to your post. I suspect writing the blog is more akin to having a good natter with a friend and it’s done at your convenience, whereas a diary seems like such a serious & solemn undertaking. I’ve never been able to keep a journal either which is ironic because I love reading other people’s diaries! With the demise of letter writing & daily journals I do wonder what we will leave for future generations.
Even if you don’t wish to publish a print version of your blog one day for sale (I think it would do quite well,especially as a charitable endeavour) you should consider having copies made for your nieces & nephews. That way they will have a wonderful record of what their Uncle Ben & Uncle Charlie were up in the “olden days”.

Darlene Chandlersays:

All the pictures are so beautiful. Lovely Tulip hat Charlie is wearing and a lovely picture of your Mom. I just love all the wonderful tulips that Charlie was carrying magnificent. I will miss your picture of the Patronage but so look forward to your new move to Scotland and pictures of renovations and scenery. I was in London 3 weeks ago and enjoying Regent’s Park, as I stay in St. John’s Wood when I travel to London. And I visited your shop and always a pleasure to speak to your wonderful staff. You pictures and blog are so uplifting and I look forward to you next chapter in Scotland. I so look forward to visiting again London in June from Canada. Take care and all the best to both of you with your move to Scotland.

Ann McDonaldsays:

Beautiful autumn days here in Northland, New Zealand with the trees, in the last week or so, changing colour. Even this far north some of them are beautiful. Charlie’s tulips are what we have to look forward to – just planting them now.

I love seeing the soft English countryside and the dogs in your photos.

Ann from Paparoa, New Zealand

Laura Harrisonsays:

Oh Ben,
How I wish you would sell some of these photos ,to we your fans!! I love all your posts, but frankly some of these pictures are my favourite. Really, would love to frame some for the wall!! How about a book, made up of your best photos, that people could take out and frame? It would be a best seller for sure!! Thanks once again, for brightening the days of so many.

Gill Coatessays:

We spent the Easter weekend at our house on the Isle of Wight and whenever I go there I always think about your mum kayaking around the island (did she complete it?) It has inspired me to have a go when we retire and can spend more time there.

I hope it’s a small comfort to know that even though we don’t know you, readers of your blog share your ups and downs and wish you all the best (although I don’t know how you can bear to leave that gorgeous parsonage – can’t wait to see photos from Scotland as you must be moving to something special.)


Lovely spring images. I hope you’re not packing up the parsonage for good. It’s a delight always whatever the weather. Beautiful mum too. best wishes, Nicola

Allison Holmessays:

Thank you for another lovely post.

Your Mum looks like the nicest person. Beautiful too – I suppose that’s where you get your looks from Ben!

best wishes,


Oh Ben what a lovely blog l love your spring photos beautiful.The photo of your mum with Charlie was a touching reminder that life can and does change.I dont think we ever fill that void in our life but we do learn to live with it.We have our memories and so many blessings to be grateful for we are our parents legacy they would want us to live life to the full and be happy.A comfort is knowing they are only ever a thought away.It is uncanny after losing my dad nearly 4 years ago l realised how very much we are alike even our sense of humour l like that it keeps him close.So pleased you had a lovely easter weekend and exciting news about your new home in Scotland.Best wishes to you and Charlie.


I’ve always admired your ability to see the positive in the world and this post is no exception. You must miss your mum terribly and yet you still seek and find the good and beauty in each day. Thank you, Ben xo

David Sanderssays:

I’m really rather envious of your glorious spring; we’ve just had a bitterly cold and wet southerly blow through here in Canterbury, NZ, which caused a power outage. Autumn is lovely of course, but the prospect of winter doesn’t exactly thrill me.

The photograph of the winding lane with the cosy, little cottage sitting snugly in its blanket of hedging on one side and the railing fence with the tall trees in blossom on the other side is utterly heartwarming – perfection. Best wishes for your Scottish sojourn.


I thank you for your blogs with wonderful photos of you all and Dorset.. Better to hear from you, your family and friends and dogs and Dorset than all the Brexit-stuff together..
Love from Annelies from Alkmaar, Holland

Clay McCleerysays:

Much love to you and Charlie.
I hadn’t realized that Charlie was such a creative hat designer! And just in time for the Easter Parade!


Dear Ben ,
thank you for your wonderful blog and photos ….. amazing as always ! Dorset is so beautiful, love all your photos from the landscape, Parsonage, all the flowers, your garden und your friends garden and Charlie ….. so lovely 🙂 I remember the photo from Charlie and your Mum last year, I enjoyed it and thought they have so much fun together !
I´m looking forward to hear about your cottage in Scotland, how exciting !
Glad to know that the church roof repair start now !
Bless you both dear Ben & Charlie,
Yours Birgit from Germany 🙂


I miss her too. And I only knew her through your wonderful postings.

Robyn Hillmansays:

So beautiful Ben. Thank you

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