8 December 2019
Ben Pentreath

The shop is sparkling now… looking so beautiful, dressed for Christmas. 

Thanks to all those who came for the Lambs Conduit Street Christmas Party on Thursday last week…. And for those that are able to make it this week, please put a date in your diary for Thursday this week, for the book signing event for Stephen Ellcock, Author of All Good Things: a Treasury of Images to Uplift the Spirits and Reawaken Wonder. Something we’ve decided at P&H towers that people need a lot of these days. 

It will be great fun, and we hope to see you there!

I’d been at a beautiful house in a beautiful village in Oxfordshire, on Friday, but it was all the better to slip down on the train into Dorset on Friday evening, at the end of another long week. Charlie and I went to the just opened Parlour Restaurant, at Bredy Farm, Burton Bradstock, that night. Really, really good. The cares of work and life drifted away. We rolled home, contended, and into bed.

Saturday was bright and breezy. Bridport Market provided a good haul, and home to the take the dogs around the top.

I love this time of year – all the leaves blown away now, by autumn storms; the countryside in tones of green, and grey and brown; but the structure of the landscape is made clear. I don’t think I could live in a country where it’s so cold in winter that the grass dies.  The green, and evergreen of ivy and pine, is what keeps the eye refreshed and the mind going. 

The line of silage in the valley, baled up for later months, looks ever more like a sculptural installation. 

Last night, we were at a village wedding. We danced the night away. A huge storm blew in overnight. The marquee started flooding and the rain poured down the valley.  Dramatic and beautiful, in its way.  Neither of us were feeling particularly sparkling this morning.  But I took the dogs around and a beautiful, pale, watery sunshine lit up the morning. 

Everyone going crazy, as always:

More rain came sweeping in; but as so often, it cleared and the house glowed golden with the long-slanting rays of 3 o clock winter sun.  Charlie’s nearly cleared everything, all put to bed for the winter; again, the structure reveals.

The dahlia beds are all dug up. 

Beautiful seed heads glowing on the lawn borders. 

And through the window, the tiny lights of the Christmas tree, as the sitting room glows golden pink in the light. 

Charlie’s put some geraniums at the head of the stair, which have been flowering like crazy. 

Soft shell pink….

A memory of spring and midsummer to come.

The days are so short now; strange to think that in 6 months’ time it will be high summer again. And of course, this week, of all weeks, we are focussing on the future, and what course it might take. My own personal plea, for what it’s worth, is that a friendly and civilised understanding – of all views, of how anyone decided to vote in the election on Thursday, might allow us to wake up on Friday – whatever the outcome – with a sense of understanding that the world will always come right in the end. I’m a great believer in good prevailing. it has done for thousands of years, and you can still see it on a daily basis, the world over. For every terrible screaming newspaper headline, we all know a thousand kindness, a thousand good stories, that will never be told or written.  And they are actually the stuff of life.

15 comments on this post


Hi, it was a great to read your blog today. I really enjoyed it. Beautiful home and the surroundings. Hope you have a fab New year.

Darlene Chandlersays:

Lovely picture of the garden, house and the countryside. I love your tree and the glow of the pink. Those geraniums are so beautiful. Not nice that the rain did some leaking to the Marque at the wedding you attending, but the countryside looks amazing. I was so happy to have flown from Canada to attend your Christmas function at your shop and the other shops at Lambs Conduit’s and also Rugby Street. It was wonderful as each year, I enjoy it so much. I look forward to hear from you soon with more beautiful stories and pictures. I wish you both a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


I agree with what Mary Jean just said. A great post at a very difficult time for many.
Thank you Ben


Turn, turn…there is a season and purpose under heaven, especially in Dorset this weekend. The green is indead easy on the eye, especially from the shores of Lake Michigan. Yet we have greenery hung in reminder of seasons to come. Prayers your way for the end of the week and may goodness prevail. Happy Advent and the store looks absolutly inviting and lovely, a beacon of light and cheer!


Dear Ben and Charlie,

Christmas greetings to you both, from two pals in NYC. We only met once, at the ICAA event in NYC, but one of the interesting things about your blog is that we, your readers, all feel we know you intimately. Thank you for sharing your lives with us, and the wonderful photos of your corner of the world. Excellent work on the winter clean-up in the garden, Charlie, and Ben, I agree: winter green in the landscape is a great balm.
Merry Christmas.

Sally Stotler Leonardsays:

Once again your post spreads a sense of joy and healing. Saying that, I also have a wistful feeling, wishing that I could live right where you and Charlie live. It’s beyond beautiful.
Here in the US, there is so much turmoil and a sense of despair. I’m going to reread your last paragraph over and over again.


Hello from Wimborne. So happy to see such beautiful photos of the west part of the county!! Thank you Ben and have a good week.


So green and beautiful-we have had weeks of bushfires and smoke here in Sydney, what a contrast to your wet and fresh aired Dorset!


Dear Ben,
thank you for your wonderful blog with all your lovely words and beautiful photos! Everything looks so beautiful, the parsonage is amazing as always, love the soft colour of your geraniums standing in this beautiful window. Your photos from the P&H shop via IG were so beautiful, I hope to can visit this wonderful shop someday !
Now I do hope the very best for Thursday that everything will coming right in the end ! My best wishes and Love to you all my British friends ❤


Thanks so much for the photos of the happy dogs.. here on Madeira we see dogs living on a stone spot on a short Chain ..

What a wonderful piece Ben. I was searching for one last item for my weekly ‘Five Good Things’ and this blog, especially the last paragraph, is it.

David Sanderssays:

I now fully understand the appeal of Corgis – they’re always so unbelievably perky. Does the little one have trouble keeping up with Mavis; those little legs have to go twice as far. Once again Charlie has impressed with his prodigious efforts in the garden. I’m currently struggling to cope with all the spring growth on my hedges – I’ve got far too many.

I have been following the ups and downs of Brexit avidly, and echo your thoughts that whatever the outcome of the election is, I hope that peace and understanding will prevail so that the country is able to move forward together.

Wishing you all the very best for Christmas, and a happy and fulfilling 2020.


agreed 100 percent about green grass in winter being a game changer. alas, i’m back in dead grass country, making the best of it.

and the geraniums are a beautiful color — have been looking for a similar pale pink — the search continues …

Debr Mooresays:

Good morning Ben what a lovely post.Love the photos of your home and garden and the valley my favourite views.Thank you for a calming insight into good in the world. Wish l could get to your shop on Thursday l will one day.Have a good week.

Mary Jean Farmersays:

Greetings from Piddlehinton. This post is just what I needed to face this week. Many thanks.

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