A second month in the country
17 May 2020
How’s it possible that four weeks have drifted by since my last blog?
Partly – work has been weirdly busy… from time to time, intensely so. Partly, Charlie and I binged watched Normal People (did you too?), and that took care of at least one weekend where it was easier to sit watching the projector than download photographs and write a blog. Partly, we had a technological problem where – just at the moment when I was ready to blog – the website wouldn’t load any photographs.
And partly, life was drifting by and seemed as if it didn’t entirely need a record… do you know that feeling?
And the strange thing is that it’s now a month later; a second month, after the first month in the country. In some ways, these weeks have taken on a hyper-reality; in another, they are a dreamtime, otherworldly…. and like all dreams, they ebb and flow in weird ways, without reference to proper time. We’ve been up, we’ve been down; we’ve been happy and full of energy, the next day we’ve been listless; we’ve slept like logs, and have had awful, restless nights, awake hour after hour all night long. I’ve been through moments of panic and sadness and calm and feeling frantic, all in one week. We’ve been missing so many of the little moments of our daily and weekly round – Bridport market, Saturday lunch in the pub; seeing neighbours and friends; and at the same time, learning too see and enjoy so many tiny moments too.
We’ve settled in to new routines, but they are daily rather than weekly ones – very little changes day by day. I try to work less at the weekends, but it’s no doubt a time to catch up on things – drawings especially – that I haven’t had time to look at during the week. And every day is just like every other day. Thursdays are bin day: that’s quite an event in the calendar.
And suddenly, just this week, do you feel like coming out of a deep Sunday afternoon sleep… that sleep that is intense but not quite normal? Life is hinting at a return – to something… I am not sure it’s going to be something normal. And the change brings a sense of relief – but simultaneously, a sense of secret sadness that the dream time is nearing an end – like that moment when you know that an over-long holiday is shifting inexorably to its close.
And what will we find of the new place in which we wake? I’m not sure. But life is slowly coming back to a sort of normal now, isn’t it? In our own small way, Bridie, Emily and I are delighted to announce that as of this week, the website for the shop will be fully up and running again. We might still take a bit longer than normal to dispatch your parcel, but it’s good to be getting going again. We’ll be opening the doors of the shop as soon as it’s safe and we are able.
Whatever the trials and tribulations that are to come, I think that we’ll forever remember these weeks just gone by – the weeks of nothing, and everything.
So here, for the record, four weeks in the country.
W E E K O N E
The April heatwave hung on for a few days longer. The copper beech is just breaking too – that magical moment.
Apple blossom, a week away from peak.
Horse Chestnuts – a week ago, just starting; now in full leaf and glorious flower.
The chickens become more adventurous.
Charlie’s lilacs break in to flower.
Warm evenings that belong to May or June.
Followed by warm summer mornings too, in spring.
The heatwave broke. Grey clouds; saturated colours.
Wild crab apple in full bloom.
We went for a walk on the hills above the village, covered in cowslips.
W E E K T W O
Sunshine returns – this extraordinary spring.
But days of mist and cloud, when they come, are as beautiful.
Sunshine returns. Cold air though… northerly winds.
The light on the hills early in the morning has been extraordinary.
Ducks and chicks venturing into the garden.
Intensely coloured evenings.
That weekend we went to the bluebell hills above the valley.
W E E K T H R E E
The copper beech in full early leaf; garden filling out.
Full May moon rising.
V.E. day was a poignant, yet happy moment.
Then, a May frost…
W E E K F O U R :
The May blossom is in full force.
Compare the copper beech to three weeks ago…
On Wednesday night, this week, I ventured out to Portesham to get fish and chips from the mobile fish n chip van…. heaven.
Extraordinary light on the way home.
T O D A Y
Here was the light this morning. Compare to the photograph at the beginning of this blog. Four weeks in the country.
The light was beautiful. We woke up very early and went for our walk before breakfast.
Cow parsley in full force, about to turn.
May blossom, ravishing.
Like walking in a Paul Nash landscape.
Who knows quite where the lane will be leading?
But whatever is around the corner, the weeks that have just passed will, I think, be ones to remember.
I hope you are staying safe, and well, and have been okay these past few weeks.