Saturday, 20 September 2008

Ain't life grand?

Sitting in the garden this morning, enjoying my first mug of tea of the day, on the bench by the fruit and nut trees, feeling the warmth of the sun as it rose and thinking, as the cat stretched and rolled about on the damp grass (foolish cat!), and listening to chickens clucking and chattering away to each other, what a lucky woman I was to have this. This beautiful space, many areas secluded thanks to hedges and shrubs, summerhouse and sheds. I have often watched holidaymakers as they drive through the village, and wondered what they think of it? Are they envious that they don't live in somewhere so beautiful? Are they glad they live somewhere with a bit more life? Do they feel sorry for us with none of the bright city lights, the large town shops, the shopping centres, do they think we are missing out?

When I have been out for the day, or the morning, and drive home, see the village sign for the first time and knowing I will soon be home, I always look at it with fresh eyes, never feel downcast, always uplifted. Just the thought of coming into the house, into my country kitchen with all it's pretty mismatched crockery on the shelves, bunches of herbs and lavender drying from the hanging rack, rag rugs on the floor, makes me smile inside and out.

And at the moment we get a lot of people just cruising round, hoping for a glimpse of the lovely Stephen Fry, and gorgeous young Karl Davies possibly. For this is KINGDOM country, the market town of Swaffham is the Market Shipborough in the series, and somewhere I occasionally make the effort to drive to, it being almost an hour away, for a forage in Waitrose, and just to see what's going on re the filming. The huge fleet of location vehicles is parked up on the outskirts of the town, those that are not being used, and in the centre of the town, where a lot of the filming of the solicitors office is done, is where the locals go about their business not giving it all a second glance, but people from outside (like me) can't help but stand a while and gawp (wishing I were about forty years younger in the case of the young Karl!) And having seen him at closer quarters than usual, he is really quite handsome. And Mr Fry, larger than life, as you would expect. (Have any of you read his blog I wonder?)

We are having a real Indian summer at the moment, though I am not sure what constitutes an Indian Summer to be honest. But the lady who delivers my book orders and I agreed yesterday, that it was summer at last, unexpected, and both of us cross that we had gone out in the morning dressed for the coolish day it looked set to be, only to find ourselves wishing we had put layers on that could be removed. Anyway, the mornings are chilly, with pretty pearly cobwebs adorning every surface it seems, ready to catch the unwary out as you walk under archways, between buildings where they are strung across from fencepost to window frame. So beautiful, but I hate getting them across my face, and always wonder where the spider might end up!

Evenings too, are turning chilly, enough for us to contemplate setting fire to a few apple logs just to help take the chill of the sitting room. But it feels like we are rushing forward into autumn and winter too fast by doing this, so out come the snuggly blankets or a shawl, and we do fine.

But the days, ah the days are becoming really warm, with temperatures at twenty degrees yesterday, clear (almost) blue skies, warm sunshine, and set to remain the same for this weekend. But then colder next week apparently, so maybe the log basket will get emptied after all!

A lovely time of year to be knitting though, or crocheting a blanket. Inspired as I was by Jane Brocket and her ripple stitch crochet blanket, I decided to make one of my own, and have used colours which have a particular meaning to where I live. So, am using a flinty grey for the flints used in local buildings and a rusty red for the Norfolk Red bricks used similarly. A mid-blue for the flax grown in this area, and bright yellow for the oil seed rape and purple for the lavender. There will be a green for the sugar beet tops, another popular crop, orangey pink for the sunsets and a pale summery blue for the skies. As this grows, it will keep me warm on these chilly nights!

I have a glut of tomatoes at the moment, some little ones in hanging baskets, and outdoor bush ones as well, and plan on making a batch of tomato and thyme soup, and some pasta sauce, both of which will store in the fridge in jars, to be used in the next couple of weeks. I bought some dried yeast and bread-making flour too, and am looking forward to using it when it turns a bit cooler next week. For now, it's apple and blackberry pie for Sunday lunch pudding, flapjacks for the grandchildren and husband has put in a request for some mince pies... well, who said they were only for Christmas!

Bye for now.... the pfg wearing pink DMs.


Faith said...

I know what you mean about your country home cos I feel that way about mine, although can't describe as beautifully as you do! Who on earth would want city lights, when they could have a cosy cottage in an idyllic place? I remember when my daughter used to wear DMs - with pretty little slip dresses!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

You sound like you have a lovely place to live and are totally content there. I feel the same with where I live. It's a wonderful feeling to know that you will always be happy at home.

CJ xx

blackpittsgarden said...


Lesley said...

I so enjoy reading your blog (found via a comment you made to Jane at yarnstorm).
I'm a Norfolk girl from way back. Your mention of all the local colours was so evocative! I can hear the skylarks ...

R. Pete Free said...

Just found you through James A-S's blog. I'm 'Norfolk-born, Norfolk-bred' (tho now transplanted in a westerly direction) so will be checking in regularly for a taste of the home county