Monday, 28 April 2014

Tempus fugit

Dear reader, apologies for my tardiness in maintaining my correspondence but oh, how time flies. Barely does one blink and we have sprung forward, the Spring Bank Holiday almost upon us. What a busy time it has been with preparations for the visits from the American and Antipodean branches of the family; the kitchen garden to continue and the spring clean all requiring urgent attention. Further to this, the local contingent of guardians have enjoyed an early spring break in foreign climes that required extra duties on both estates for my guardians. Dear me, such a frenzy of activity; I am positively exhausted with it all.

The American contingent arrive the latter part of this very week and great excitment this has caused. Many of the guardians have not seen these relatives for, well it must be 40 years. Oh, my, my, I cannot contemplate such a length of time, however over the water they are bound and will receive a great welcome on their arrival. I will of course keep you abreast of the latest snippets for your perusal.

For my brothers' part, he has sought sanctuary wherever and whenever possible, being a quiet and homely individual. Here, he is seen in quiet contemplation, safe beneath the Lutyens bench.
I, on the other hand, have been hither and thither taking interest in all preparations for the visits; no inspection too small in which to consider the welcome and comfort of our family. It is on this very note, I bid you adieu dear friends, duty calls.

Monday, 21 April 2014

At the crack of dawn....

Alas, duty calls even for our male guardian who, with our female guardian, so kindly keeps us in a manner to which we have become accustomed. This does sadly mean that when many are enjoying the Easter Time break, our guardian rises early to go about his work. Today was one such day; however, these early starts are not lost on our female guardian who relishes in the quiet morn with not a soul about bar the birds, bees and animals of the countryside. The cuckoo has been heard a number of times over this Easter time and the wood pigeon has cooed at us from its lofty perch, the sound resonating down the chimney whence it sits. Despite the forcast, the sun has risen and the dew is glistening. Our footprints as we walk the estate making darkened furrows in which my sister and I delicately trip behind our guardian, with her cup of early morning tea in her hand, as we survey the land. As the sun rises, dew laden cobwebs and glistening diamond moss upon the apple trees are revealed. The apple trees appear to have burgeoned overnight with both acid green young leaves and the most delicate of pink and white apple blossom from which the hum of a busy bee can be heard. Such a glorious time of day in which to muse upon the delights the day may behold.

My guardian takes great delight in the natural flora and fauna of the countryside and cannot contain her joy at the sight of the cow parsley - a delicate white frothy flower, typifying the english country lanes in spring. I know of old that great jugs of these flowers will appear at regular intervals until the very last blossom has waned. Such simple pleasures to be had.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Happy Easter

Oh the joy of Easter time, dear friends; everything abounds. Spring is well and truly here and the activity upon the two estates is exhausting to behold. My brother and I have been hither and thither keeping abreast of it all, adding a little request here and tweak there. All so very exhausting, dear friends, that you will excuse my odd respite, in the form of a quiet contemplation on the verdant grass.

The new gate post to the estate has been restored, much to my brother's most ardent relief; the relatives of our guardian complemented our male guardian on how well hung it was - praise indeed,  dear friends! Thankfully this means that my brother's fears of unwanted guests are in abeyance and he can rest easily at night.

The kitchen garden is coming on in leaps and bounds with asparagus, potatoes, onions and beans all planted. The greenhouse has also been a hive of activity with potting on of leeks, squashes and tomatoes aplenty to feed both households. There are plans afoot for more fruit trees, a larger greenhouse and the possibility of chickens and so much more. There has been much discussion regarding the usage of both estates, both modest affairs and the potential need to expand but the how and where causing a conundrum. My brother, in his wisdom, recommends patience and a watch and wait policy.
For our part, whatever keeps our human guardians hale and hearty, is the ticket. We are blessed to have kind hearted guardians who wish for a quiet and peaceful country life, to enjoy the seasons in a small but charming country home. This quiet and peaceful haven, however, will see over the coming months visits from both the antipodean and American contingents of the family. My brother, I fear, awaits these visits with increasing trepidation - reader he is not a man of society however well blessed with manners and courtesy he may be. Alas, he will endure them rather than enjoy, seeking solace with our female guardian when and where he can. To say that they are devoted is perhaps to understate the fondness they have for one another. He is at this very moment ensconced upon the lap of this very guardian, enjoying the peace, as I write. What better way to spend this Easter Day than with a loving embrace from loved ones - one of which I duly shared with my brother last evening, as you can see. He is, perhaps, one of those delightful males who is never too busy for such niceties that are all so important to the female of the species; a little reminder, gentleman, if you please.
It is on this note that my brother and I wish you a very Happy Easter, hoping that you plans for the coming season reach fruition. I beg to remind you that too many confectionaries can take the shine from your festivities - moderation in everything, dear friends, moderation.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Eggs at Easter time

Dear reader, one cannot tell the joy I have in telling of this delightful little discovery on the estate of my guardians' dear relatives this very evening. Our female guardian was once again gainfully employed within the garden, filling the compostery, when the D-O-G-S became a little excited and somewhat agitated before chasing after one of the Pheasant clan, much to the consternation of my guardian. It is a key time for breeding and nesting therefore the shout went out for search parties to ensure any fledglings were cared for. Lo and behold, dear friends, there amongst the undergrowth was the very thing we feared. A nest of twelve warm eggs; the D-O-G-S were swiftly taken away and calm dutifully restored in an attempt to try and encourage our poor dear Pheasant friend to return - only time will tell. I do so hope that neither the the Brock nor Fox family are in the near vicinity this spring night. With Easter so near at hand one can only pray for the dear little things; a victory for life in the face of adversity would be a true Easter tale.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Natural beauty

My brother and I have spent time this very week enjoying natures beauty. We are blessed indeed to live on a charming little estate amidst rolling countryside.  Our farming neighbours have toiled long and hard throughout the days to plough the fields in preparation for this years crops. We are most fortunate to observe first hand from whence our guardians food is produced. The fields are now glistening folds of chocolate brown surrounded by burgeoning hedgerows in all shades of green. Such a joyous and beautiful sight to behold. We are most fortunate in the dedication of the farming community.

There has been much activity also in the joint venture of the kitchen garden. Our female guardian has, along with a member of her family from the bordering estate, also spent a number of hours in toil. Oh reader, I cannot express the depths of my admiration for the hard work that has ensued. There are now four raised beds ready for planting and the morrow, my friends, brings planting day. Potatoes, onions and the most coveted of crops, asparagus, all await the dawn of planting day. I foresee aching backs and sore muscles but I must confess, dear reader, to the suspicion of the satisfied smiles of a job well done. Can you not picture a garden seat beneath the boughs of a budding apple tree on which two weary gardeners sit, a tray of refreshments between them, a smile apiece upon each visage?  In the words of Thomas Jefferson

 " No occupation is so delightful.... as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden.

Now, I do declare dear reader, to a sight of such amazement. We are fortunate to live in a delightful home of great character. My guardians are most keen on the restorative properties of fresh air and it was just this that bought such amazement to our lives. This very morning whilst resting after an early foray upon the estate, a great buzzing noise was to be heard from the dining room. Such was the noise that I confess I was afeared of what my guardians might find but, with staunch hearts, they ventured forth. The noise was emitting from a storm latern positioned on the chiffonier; upon investigating my guardians declared at the size and beauty of the Bombus within; Bumblebee, as we know it colloquially. Such a beauty to behold, although it has to be said, there was much relief when it took itself back to the sanctuary garden whence it came. It was a considerable size to behold and I do believe was half the length of my guardians thumb in length (if not a little fluff covered after its time in the storm lantern!). Most, most delightful.


Sunday, 6 April 2014

A youthful resurgence

All around us is the emergence of the new season in all its colourful glory; the gentle pink white of plum and damson blossom, blown in the wind like confetti, the yellow gaudiness of rape seed fields, the green of emerging shoots and the air redolent with the sound of birdsong and bees. Spring is such a joyous season and one which my sister and I chose to rejoice in this very day. My sister sat  upon a suitable perch on which to pass the day watching the world go by; I on the other hand chose to inspect the orchard and admired the beauty of the emerging growth, the moss and lichen, the flowers bursting forth - what a glorious way to spend a day, full of natures bounty, full of youthful resurgence.

Our guardians were also blessed with spring enthusiasm. Our female guardian once again spent some hours at the estate of her relatives in the emerging shared kitchen garden. I have to confess some excitement at the pace in which this venture is
moving. There are now two large beds prepared, for asparagus and potatoes, as well as the smaller strawberry bed that has already been planted and showing signs of growth. This brings great joy to all concerned and will be a thing of bounteous beauty once fully established.

Our male guardian is preparing for a feat of great determination and one, I confess, causes me some consternation. Tomorrow he will spend a number of hours running, yes dear reader, running for a great number of miles with many other people. Personally, I fail to understand the need for such an exhausting past time, however, I do admire his determination and enthusiasm. Nietzsche's "That which does not kill me makes me stronger" comes to mind, however maniacal it may seem to me.

I have spent the end of the day in quiet contemplation following such a gladsome day for all concerned; I do declare dear reader that, in the words of John Masefield, " The days that make us happy make us wiser". I take my leave of you on this happy note, to consider the simple pleasures in life to be had for free.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Weary travellers

My brother and I spent a quiet morning at home on the estate. Our guardians for their part travelled far to reach the smallest city in England dating from medieval times that has within its city walls a most splendid 13th Century Cathedral, as well as many fine residences. The Cathedral is famous for its beautiful architecture and splendour of which my guardians are very fond. It was an arduous journey but of necessity to conduct some business there with a local horologist, which, I might add, was conducted successfully for both our guardians and their relatives. The outward journey was made tedious by the inclement spring weather in the form of dense fog, however, once the outward journey reached the halfway stage, sun was shining forth and good time was made on the return journey. The guardians and their relatives were delighted to complete the journey and once again be at home. The weather had vastly improved and the sun shone forth, enhancing the countryside in its golden glow, not a cloud in the late afternoon sky.

Much refreshed after a restorative cup of afternoon tea, work on the kitchen garden continued apace. It was a most productive time for all of us; my brother, of course, set forth to inspect the work but found himself sidetracked by the presence of an empty home on the estate. It has to be said that this is a rare occassion, we are known to be fair and kindly custodians. This conundrum caused my brother much consternation and tireless work speaking to the many inhabitants on the estate but, to no avail. It appears that it was a home to either the Dunnock or Wren families however no reports of missing persons has been made therefore we must assume that the family has moved. I do so hope that all is well but, dear reader, it must be said, both families are renowned for their flighty natures.

My brother takes his duties most seriously and can be seen striding forth with foccussed intent to conduct his enquiries.

For my own part, I must confess to spending a little time on my grooming; a little light manicure and a breath of fresh air whilst the weather is fine

We ended the day with a few moments of time together discussing the days endeavours before retiring for the evening. I am very fond of my brother and do value these little conversations.