Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year

Well, my dears, in the words of Alexander Graham Bell "When one doors closes, another opens" for we sit on the threshold of the new year, with the door of 2016 closing behind us. Graham Bell wisely goes on to say of his statement "but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us". It is with this in mind that my guardians look t'ward the New Year of 2017. Much has happened in this last year and a new chapter of life has begun with thoughts turning t'ward the future, much as the Antipodean members of the family are doing. Whilst one can never predict or exactly plan for the future, it is wise to consider ones options. Time, as we have oft noted, flies, and 'tis very easy to climb on the treadmill of life and keep on going, failing to lift one's head. It is easy to forget that one is the author of one's own destiny and small changes can lead to improvements that open up new, or different, avenues. Our aim, therefore, is to make small changes; some will, or have been, presented to us, others we must take the first step, but in the words of Lao Tzo " A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step". Whatever your aspirations for the new year, dear reader, may we take this opportunity to wish you a happy and prosperous New Year with steps in the the direction that you wish to take, remembering

         "I am the master of my fate: the Captain of my soul" William Ernest Henley (1849-1903)
                                           Life, after all, is to be lived not endured.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Glorious night sky

My dears, the constellations really are quite bedazzling this very evening, quite beyond exception. It is clear and crisp, indeed, sparklingly frosty at an early hour. As my lady guardian arrived home, at a surprisingly modest hour it has to be said, there was a frosted crust upon the driveway gates already. Diamond sparkles glittered as the house was lit, a breathtaking spectacle. If you have a the time do take a moment to stop and stare, for the naked eye can, if not in an area of light pollution, discern quite enormous numbers of glorious stars. Such natural beauty.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Happy moments

Whilst my male guardian has spent a large part of the festive period in professional toil, there have been some lovely times in between that we have thoroughly enjoyed. My lady guardian has ensured some delightful meals, the home fire has been burning and a general air of comfort and joy in our country lives has abound. 

This morning my guardians rose at an early hour, before any other lights in the lane shone out, to ensure my male guardian had sufficient journey time to reach his professional toil. All was peaceful and calm, and Jack Frost had made one of his few visits this winter. Oh, the beauty of the countryside clothed in sparkling frost. Once sufficient light was in the sky my lady guardian sallied forth for a most invigorating walk for quite an hour and a half. Tramping along lanes, paths and bridleways to enjoy the spectacle of the countryside in winter. Arriving home she brought with her a fresh, frosty fragrance of crisp air and glowing cheeks. What a delightful time she had enjoyed, indeed a walk has featured every day over the festive period, and much appreciated they have been. To walk unfettered by time and wander at will really is greatly to one's liking, all the more so when the air is crisp and clean.

The Antipodeans have been hatching plans for their future and much electronic correspondence has ensued; a most exciting time for all concerned. My guardians are avidly following the plot as it thickens for there is nought so reassuring than to see ones loved ones settled, safe and happy. Oh the excitement, dear reader, one really must contain oneself.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Happy hearts and joyful souls

Dear readers, Mery Christmas to you all. My lady guardian and I are spending the latter half of the day quietly for my male guardian has once again taken the carriage and is spending Christmas night in professional toil. This has not deterred the Christmas spirit and the morning was spent quietly enjoying time as a little family. Late rising, fresh coffee and toast for my guardians and a most delicious repast of tuna for myself preceding the exchange of gifts. Dear souls, my male guardian has far excelled himself this year with the gifts for my lady guardian. Such a thoughtful, quiet man who ensures my lady guardian's happiness. We both, she and I, feel blessed to be loved by such a caring man, for that is what he is. There is nought that gives such great comfort than to be loved, for we two feel thus. It is not the gifts themselves that matter but the thoughts behind the giving that reveal the man. This does not denigrate the gifts for they are beautiful but the thought and care that has gone behind them, the care and attention. Dear man, you are one in a million and we love you.

For you, dear reader, we hope your day has been joyous, lifted your heart with love and made you feel glad to be alive. Life is not always easy, and can feel stressful and exhausting but I hope we all are able to spend a few moments of peace and joy on this Christmas Day.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas

It has been extraordinarily festive day despite my male guardian once again being professionally engaged in toil. My lady guardian waved him off in his carriage and spent some time in domestic chores, preparing our modest estate for Christmas. Floors swept and carpets brushed, furniture polished to a high shine and the small Christmas tree decorated.  Our little house gleams and glows with the frission of anticipation Christmas Eve brings. The smell of polish and the aroma of a fine Christmas candle mingles with the smell of the log burner, so evocative of childhood. 

The morning saw my lady guardian pop along to the next small town that was in full Christmas mode; a brass band played glorious Christmas carols, a small market sold delightful festive morsels and all around was festive cheer. So delightful, my dears, at this time of year to see people enjoying a peaceful, festive period. This afternoon my lady guardian attended the most delightful of Christmas services held in the barn of a local farming family, a tradition that has held for many years. People come from far and wide, even across the world with people from Australia, Dubai and China attending today. An amphitheater is created from bales at one end of the barn whilst the cattle look on from the other end. The service, led by our local lady Vicar, enjoys carols sung by all the family, including verses for the children alone, the story of the Nativity complete with appropriate sound track provided by the attendees with the lowing of the cattle accompanying us. This is the true spirit of Christmas; families, friends, tradition, thoughts of those less fortunate for whom a collection is made plus mince pies and chocolates offered by the farming family as we depart. One feels so blessed to live is such a community and ones faith in humanity is restored.

My dearest readers, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope you too experience a peaceful festive period, with special greetings for loved ones across the world.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Four sleeps...

Oh my, my how the festive preparations are building. Why both my guardians have made comment on the vast quantities of illuminated decorations on view on the external facades of many homes. Why, the number of candles these families must purchase is quite beyond me. My lady guardian has taken pains to reassure me that they are electrical illuminations, and if installed correctly are quite the safest of decorations. Dear friends, I am most relieved for one does concern oneself at the thought of excited children in the presence of a quite so many naked flames, or indeed, the very fabric of the buildings they adorn. 

Our dear postman has delivered a busy stream of Christmas greetings in the form of cards and oh how delightful they are. A predominance of the festive robin, a beautiful print of an illuminated church undertaken by our local artist and, some very jolly village scenes adorned with the ubiquitous smattering of snow. There also appears to be quite a number that sparkle, which I must confess, does appear to spread itself around with abandon; why, one finds evidence of it is the most unusual of places, dear reader.

We do so hope that your preparations are well in hand and that you approach the season with peace and goodwill in mind, despite the frantic feelings that can sometimes creep up on one as the day approaches. ''Tis but one day, dear souls, and a time for joy and celebration and to do unto others as you would have done unto you, such a peaceful simple maxim to follow.

Saturday, 17 December 2016


My dears, a sad, sad time for 'tis the anniversary of the death of my lady guardian's mother. Hard to believe that a year has gone by and a life extinguished in the blink of an eye; alive one moment, gone the next. A life that had known hardship and joy, bought six children in to the world as well as working in the care of others. Gone but not forgotten, the six children spread across country and the world, some divided by miles, others by preference; such are families in the way of the world today. A parent brings a child into the world, begins their life and then sees them take steps toward their own life, the author of their own destiny. 

How hard to imagine the responsibility of six children, whilst two parents worked to clothe and feed them in the best way they could. Taught to read and write before attending school, a family of book lovers, all able to craft and some to graft. My lady guardian has the fondest memories of fun not hardship, joy and love and much laughter that is so sorely missed and thus 'tis with heavy heart that we go about our duties. A small comfort to know she had the chance to tell both parents she loved them. A small omission for many that cannot be rectified. Families really are the most curious of things, my dears, so fascinating to observe. The loss of parents a momentous time in a child's life that can bring a family together or, more often as not in these most strange times, fragment it. Guilt the driver of many an angry word, jealousy and greed in evidence for others. Adults, such interesting people, full of contradictions.

For my part, I have sought to give comfort along with my male guardian. We are most fortunate to be a small unit, happy in our own world in our little country home, supported by some family members and a small band of wonderful friends and colleagues. Thank you dear souls for supporting my darling lady guardian at this sad time.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Wells Cathedral

Oh, how very exciting my dears, for my guardians have taken the opportunity to visit Wells Cathedral in the run up to the festivities. What a glorious architectural triumph with scissor arches, a beautiful clock, stained glass and enough stone carving to delight all. It was a most fortunate choice of day for t'was relatively quiet in the smallest city in the country. Not that this dimmed the festive preparations for the Cathedral was preparing for an afternoon and evening of musical enjoyment. As they took in the architectural splendour, beautiful music echoed through the space; so delightful and joyous. My guardians were much taken with this beautiful building.

A quiet stroll through the Bishops Palace, followed sedately along the moat by the Swans hoping for a pre-Christmas treat. On through the arches they ambled and enjoyed the festive wares on display, stopping to enjoy a light lunch in a most delightful vegetarian establishment, well known for its delicious offerings - Neither did it disappoint on this occasion. Such a calm and peaceful time was had, not rushed or harried by over wrought people; a genteel pace to balance life. 

Home now, a fire laid in preparation for a quiet evening; the curtains drawn against the darkening sky with only glimpses of the parish lantern for there is much cloud in this early evening sky.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Art appreciation...

Well, my dears, the weather has turned warm and wet much to my lady guardian's disappointment. Today has been dank, dark and quite unseasonably tepid. Ne'er fear, for what should arrive by post this very week but an invitation to a most splendid open house art exhibition. Oh, the frisson of excitement this did cause for the exhibition was for non other than James Lynch, a most talented local artist and one of my guardians' favourites. Much deliberation however was undertaken by my lady guardian for she finds art to be most irresistible. My male guardian was most persistent and won the day, thus the carriage was prepared and off they went this afternoon for a few hours of art appreciation. Now, as Christmas is ever closer, I am quite excited myself, dear friends, for will there be a parcel that resembles a painting under the festive tree? Why, who indeed knows, but it has to be said a most jolly time was had by both my guardians with a most delightful warm welcome from the artist and his wife, who is also an artist of repute. 

On their return the fire was lit to burble away slowly and brighten the day for 'twas dimpsey; the lamps were lit and a most warm glow they did emit. My lady guardian has most diligently mastered the art of sock making, therefore my male guardian may find something warm and welcome in his Christmas stocking - now for those gentleman who are sniggering at this juncture, with minds in the direction of the sewer, may I dutifully remind you that this is not what I am implying as you are well aware, (although if you are thinking that which I think you are thinking, you are no gentleman Sir!).

On a firmer footing, my lady guardian is assessing the estate gardens for the annual decoration of our small abode. We are inordinately fond of greenery to decorate the mantle, a wreath and a small tree of some kind as a nod t'ward the festivities without overt excess. I am sure our home will be simply but stylishly decorated for the season. We do hope you too are enjoying your festive preparations. My lady guardian is fond of home made gifts and will be trying out a twist on the normal sloe gin; something I am sure will go down well with the Antipodeans after a year or two of maturation.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

A day of gardening

A day has been spent in the garden gathering many sacks of fallen apples, for there are many of them and yet many more remain on the trees. My lady guardian finds this most pleasing for she is  most keen to ensure that the birds have plentiful supplies to get them through the winter. Whilst my male guardian gathered apples, my lady guardian raked leaves, thousands and thousands of leaves, and yet more remain to be raked. It was a cold day but raking leaves built a warmth that required little more than one layer in which to work. With so many apples a duel trip to the local repository was required; quite how my guardians managed to transport so many apples is beyond my belief but the job was done in good time and a welcome cup of fine English tea was partaken on their return. 

Once these jobs were complete, supper was prepared for later, the log basket replenished and those little jobs that require regular attention undertaken.  Thus prepared for the coming week, we have spent a quiet evening enjoying our leisure. My lady guardian has added many rows to a fine pair of socks, fine woollen garments to add to our collection. 

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Thoughts of the festive season...

Now that we are in the month of December, thoughts have turned t'ward the festive season. Firstly, and most importantly, the postal dates are of paramount importance for anyone with family residing abroad. Dates have, therefore, been duly noted and addressed. The larder has been reviewed with thoughts of a number of small select festive meals to enjoy when both guardians are present outside of their professional toil. My guardians are most dutiful every year in ensuring the log shed is full to last us through the winter months, and provisions laid down for wholesome food. High on the agenda, of course, is ensuring that plentiful supplies fill my own little cupboard of delights; one likes to be prepared for all eventualities.

I have been most fortunate to have both of my guardians home for a few days. We have enjoyed time together, the log burner murmuring in the back ground. Lamps lit early to produce a welcome glow of warmth, and curtains drawn early afternoon against the darkening sky. Whilst my guardians have taken time away from the home, we have all thoroughly enjoyed our delightful moments of languor; the periodicals, a fine book, music in the background - unwinding to the sights and sound of  home, such comfort. A warming cup of fine coffee, a sweet treat for my male guardian and deep sighs exhaled at the knowledge that sanctuary has been reached in the four walls of our little home. Home is where the heart is, my dears, particularly in the case of my guardians and I. 

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Winter's arrival...

Dear friends, winter has truly arrived on our little estate. A clear night once again and December began covered in frost, a deep cold fog having descended that truth be told has not lifted all day. Ne'er a day felt so wintery for the lamps were lit at three this afternoon as well as that most beautiful of contraptions, the log burner. 

Earlier in the day my guardians took the carriage to Exeter for an amble amidst the Christmas market and all manner of merchants selling their wares. The weather was cold but blue sky was evident and my guardians partook of coffee on the quayside and watched the world go by before taking a leisurely drive home through our glorious countryside. On return a light lunch was partaken, whilst the logburner gathered speed to heat the home. I, for my part have directed operations from my sheepskin lined basket, ensuring the correct procedure for the lighting of the fire for this is a most important task now that we have arrived in the winter season. My guardians will ensure it is fed at the appropriate junctures to ensure our continued comfort on this, the first day of winter. We do so hope that you too are suitably prepared.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Jack Frost...

Well, my dears, Jack Frost has well and truly visited us this week with temperatures dropping to minus four at night. The estate gardens, in places, have remained frosted and white all day, quite a breathtaking spectacle. The birds are truly grateful for the apples my dear guardians have left upon the ground for them, plus the reinstatement of extra nuts, seeds and fats they require, as well as water, to get them through these harsh times.  The badgers, and the odd roe deer, are also partial to the apples, as well as descendents of our dear old friend Cedric. The murmurs of a hard winter to come may yet prove correct. The birds have fair stripped the holly hedge of the glorious red berries that so delighted my lady guardian.

The log burner has been lit each day much to my delight and our little home is blissfully warm. At times like these one is reminded of the Nordic countries ability to enjoy the cold weather and darker days. My lady guardian enjoys winter and thus the simple pleasures, such as those of the Nordic countries, are enjoyed. The art of winter dressing is embraced with wool and natural fibres predominant. I am inordinately fond of my guardians winter wardrobe for there is nought so comfortable or warm as a woollen garment. My lady guardian's late mother was also a firm believer in small wool rugs for this time of year, an invaluable addition to any home and we are the grateful owners of a number of such blankets. Now, my dears, with the Christmas season ever closer perhaps one such gift would be a blesssing for the country dwellers amongst your friends and family, for one can never have too many practical gifts in one's repertoire.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Bath Abbey

My darling guardians decided to take the carriage to a most delightful city. Bath really is quite a manageable city; one can walk everywhere and there are all manner of delights to suit all tastes. Since their visit to St. Paul's with the Antipodeans earlier this year, my dear guardians have considered the ecclesiastical delights closer to home. Thus today's little foray was to visit the Abbey and, in particular, to ascend the Abbey tower to view the architectural delights of the Abbey itself, as well as the beautiful city in which it stands. What a joy; the young man conducting the tour was most knowledgeable and personable, delighting us with detail on the first and second stops before reaching the top of the tower whereupon we gazed at the glory of Bath. At the first stop my lady guardian was most tempted by the many Sallys' hanging just above their heads for she was an amateur campanologist as a young girl (nought, it has to be said, as good as her twin sister, who rang the bells of many a fine local church in her day). One has to admire the bell ringers of the Abbey who ascend to the first level twice a week via a very narrow staircase to peal the bells, quite a feat in itself. 
Once my guardians had reached the top of the tower they were presented with a most warming cup of hot chocolate, very welcome on such a cold and windy day. Such a view, my dears, with not a cloud in the sky, quite breathtaking although that may have been the brisk wind cutting across the tower. 

They have now returned from their journey and the fire is lit for the evening for the forecast overnight is a minus figure. We do hope you too are warm and snug as the temperature begins to drop.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Happy Anniversary, dear guardians.

Today, my dears, is the 34th Wedding Anniversary of my darling guardians. We spent the day quietly, looking at their wedding album and smiling at shared memories. For ''tis the shared memories, the joy, the sadness, the laughter, the tears that come together as one. A quirk of an eyebrow, the squeeze of a hand enough to induce suppressed laughter. The joy in routines, of traditions passed through generations, of making a home together, working t'ward shared goals. Whilst new relationships bring a frisson of excitement, a longer term brings love and security. We are a most fortunate little family, for despite the ups and downs of the last year, my guardians delight in similar pleasures. Home is the heart of this, for there is nought so splendid as the sanctuary of the home built together. Storms are weathered and life paths adjusted in the knowledge of the security in our sanctuary. 

Friday, 25 November 2016

Starry, starry night

Oh my, I do declare, what a glorious sky. As I sat waiting for my guardians to return from their professional toil, I took the time to gaze heavenward and lo, was I rewarded. The night sky is clear, the weather is crisp and the star scape quite beyond belief. The constellations are ablaze and quite delightful to gaze upon. My lady guardian, who was unbelievably home at a good hour, and I spent some time gazing upwards and revelling in the most delightful of sights. We do so hope that you too are able to enjoy the spectacle.

It has turned cooler today and my lady guardian is most delighted for she is not overly fond of hot weather. With the festive period looming, it is delightful to revel in the seasons. As I dictate this missive I can enjoy the warmth of a blazing fire and have taken the opportunity to closely monitor the exact temperature from my vantage point upon the hearth. It is, of course, vital to ensure a measured release of warmth therefore I have dutifully stretched myself across the said hearth to gauge this. One  believes in taking one's duties seriously, my dears.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Stormy night

Well, 'pon my soul, was Saturday not the stormiest night? Lashings of rain, thunder and stormy winds. My lady guardian and I surveyed the estate and gardens on Sunday morning to ensure that all was well, and thus far, we appeared to be intact. The estate gardens were adrift, indeed, awash with apples and leaves; it appears they were all shaken from their branches last evening during the storm. My male guardian arose at an early hour whilst still dark, off to professional toil; in light of the storm and uncertainty as to the state of the drive, an earlier hour than normal was felt prudent. Not one to rest on her laurels, my lady guardian once again took the opportunity to undertake her weekend chores. The fire was laid in preparation for the evening, however, much to my delight there must have been a live ember for the fire was soon alight and whilst my lady guardian was otherwise engaged, I basked in its warmth. My lady guardian took pity on me and thus the house has been joyously warm all day. 

Monday, came with rain lashing the southwest of England once more. ''Twas my lady guardians turn to leave the estate for professional toil amidst the rain, deviations to the route necessary in view of flooding. Fortunately my lady guardian has safely returned, however, rain continues to lash the countryside. For now we are all together and tomorrow is another day. We do so hope that you are all safe and secure despite the weather.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

A day of "doing"

Well, dear friends, today was a day of "doing". Living in the country, one is aware of the desire for some of the smaller country dwellers  wish to reside in close proximity to oneself, particularly when the winter provisions are laid down and the larder well stocked. 'Tis for this very reason that each autumn and spring my lady guardian takes stock, clears the larder, cleans scrubs and reviews the provisions with a beady eye, as well as ensuring that no such small country dwellers have found a way in to the larder, for such is the wish for a warm and comfortable lodging for the winter period, with meals thrown in. Thus, as my male guardian left to tend the sick and needy, barely had he drawn away, than my lady guardian girrded her loins and lo, the contents of the larder were spread before me. Top to bottom was scrubbed, provisions scrutinised and, only once my lady guardian was satisfied of there continued quality, were they returned whence they came. Whilst it is a mighty task, 'tis a sensible undertaking, although not one for the half hearted. Dear reader, I was quite fascinated upon commencement, however,  once it had been confirmed that no small country dwellers were lodging thus and required my assistance with rehoming, I fair lost interest. 'Twas all quite exhausting and therefore I felt it prudent to partake of forty winks whilst order was restored. My lady guardian clearly had something about her today for as I dozed most contentedly she utilised the time most fortuitously and I awoke to a warm, clean and fresh house; a vase of autumn leaves and hips resplendent on the side, mixed with the wood fragrance of the logs ready for a fire later this afternoon. Country comforts one and all, do you not agree?

Friday, 18 November 2016

Good gracious.....

Well, I do declare! One really cannot believe it but my lady guardian looked upon our calendar this very evening and did feel quite faint, for my dears, tis but just FIVE mere weeks til the festivities are upon us. 'Pon my word, dear friends, how on earth did that happen. Why, 'tas fair crept up upon us, my dears. One really needs to gather one's wits and plan for there is much to do. We will pass a quiet festive season for my male guardian will no doubt spend time in professional toil. 

Today saw a cooler day and, much to our surprise, a little sleet and snow. Thankfully, it did not settle, for our Island it not perhaps at its best for travel when snow abounds. My lady guardian was most thankful, for my male guardian travels many miles in relation to his professional toil. Much to my delight the log burner has once again been lit and our little home is gloriously warm. I find myself supervising this communication snuggled upon my male guardians knee, basking in the love and warmth, such bliss.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Routines restored, excitement over for now

Well, my dears, for all concerned life had once more settled down in to our normal routines wherever we reside across the globe. The excitement has abated but some glorious memories are imprinted upon us to look back on with fond remembrance and smiles. The Antipodeans are once more ensconced upon their estate in Australia with my cousins. Oh the joy of one's own bed in familiar surroundings; there is nought like it. Clearly the old maxims are the best and can be applied to any nationality; an Englishman's home is his castle", likewise for all of you wherever you reside, dear friends.

My lady guardian was also required to undertake some professional travel upon a locomotive across our glorious country. Many tedious hours but worth the professional investment and contacts which will no doubt in turn benefit her employ. Whilst passionate about her career, my lady guardian is a country girl at heart and does not enjoy large city's but endures them. My male guardian and I were most delighted in her safe return, as was she. This very evening sees us enjoying the simple pleasures of a country home and very thankful we are for them. The day has been spent upon the estate tidying and planting bulbs, simple country pursuits but so enjoyed.

We do so hope your own day has afforded you such pleasures, with time set aside to remember the fallen at the eleventh hour. Lest we forget, dear souls, lest we forget; for we have much to be thankful for.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Twin lives

Well, my dears, there was always going to be tears. Parting, in the words of the Bard, is such sweet sorrow and indeed 'twas. For early this very evening my darling lady guardian said goodbye to her dearest twin sister and husband, homeward bound. Two halves, separated by lives and half the world, no less precious nor loved for the differences. Tis a subdued lady guardian whose lap I sit upon in an attempt to give comfort. One who loves England, t'other Australia; olive skinned brunette, fair skinned red head; hot and cold. Opposites joined by birth wherever life takes them, in hearts and minds forever. Uncertain of the next meeting in person, but firm plans for electronic messaging and meeting. Twin sister's husband has said he will bring her back, great comfort at such times, thank you darling man for calm is found in these uttered words. Safe journey home to my dear cousins, waiting patiently for your return. Our love goes with you and my guardians have fond memories of walking, climbing trees, Shakespeare, art, architecture, fun and laughter. May your memories of our holiday together be as joyous as our own. Love speed you,  comfort and care for you.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Joy and expectation...

Oh joyous day, the log burner has been lit for the first time this very afternoon. My joy, dear reader is beyond description; tis a time of year to stretch ones toes t'ward the warmth and revel in the glorious glow that emates from the steel monster. Oh how I love thee oh black, golden eyed monster. My dutiful guardians will feed it at various points throughout the evening and a warmth will spread throughout our small, country home; bliss, shere bliss. My guardians are preparing for a brief last visit from the Antipodeans, a few hours at best, to collect their luggage before they set off, homeward bound to the warmer climes of their Australian home. A cake is, as we write, baking in the oven from which a most homely fragrance can be determined above the aroma of the log burner. A log fire, cake, a lap and warmth; oh joyous day.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Oh wondrous night....

Oh my, what a glorious night sky this very evening. The weather has turned cooler, it is crisp with a beautiful star laden sky and quite the most beautiful crescent moon, barely a sliver but so distinct. It quite takes one's breath away. My lady guardian and I have spent some time admiring and identifying the constellations until the desire for a warming cup of fine English tea became urgent.
We are fortunate to have neighbours who, on the whole, enjoy the night sky and do not drench the surrounding countryside in light. It really is the ticket, my dears. If you are so fortunate to have the same clement conditions to take a moment to look heavenward, you really will be rewarded.

My lady guardians twin sister should now be enjoying the delights of Paris or "gay Paree"; we do so hope that they have the same glorious night sky to enjoy in such a romantic setting.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Italian earthquake

To our Italian friends, we are thinking of you in the wake of the recent earthquakes. We cannot imagine your fear nor distress but extend our sympathy to you.

My lady guardian's relatives are in Italy and we do trust that they, and there friends, are safe as we wish for you all. 

Farsi corraggio, i nostri pensieri sono con voi. 

Sunday, 30 October 2016


Now, my dears, far be it for me, nor indeed my guardians, to endorse a product but oh my, such beautiful pottery has entered our midst this week. There is a lady whose pottery designs are truly a reemergence of great British pottery, which has become quite "de rigeur" over the last few years; the designs, in their various formats, really are are quite beautiful to behold but perhaps what stands them in the highest esteem is the very functionality of the various pieces that are most suited to every day use. In the words of William Morris "have nothing in your house you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful". My darling guardians utilised a most advantageous offer to purchase a number of everyday items. Well, my dears, they really are both useful AND beautiful, really quite the ticket. The delivery is prompt and the items are carefully packed to ensure one receives the goods in the best of order. Now this is British manufacturing at its best. 

One or two stationery items by the potters husband have also been purchased. The gentleman really is  very talented and his country scenes strikingly evocative. Truly a gifted couple who bring delight to a great many people across the world, for orders are also shipped across the seas, indeed, as far as the Australias.  

Busy bees

My darling guardians took the opportunity to luxuriate in the extra hour and slept until they woke naturally, such a treat. I have to say, dear friends, there is nought so delightful for a feline of, ahem, a certain age to lay snuggled up betwixt the warmth of my guardians in slumber, quite delicious. 

We are enjoying an unseasonable warm spell which my guardians did utilise most assiduously; my lady guardian planted several bucket loads of daffodils, wallflowers and Sweet Williams to enhance our small estate. My lady guardian's late father was inordinately fond of Sweet Williams, indeed, at one time grew them himself thus they were duly planted where he and his wife are laid to rest along with the wallflowers and daffodils. There are however many more to be planted and this will be continued  over the coming days and weeks. My male guardian cleaned one of his motorised bicycles until it gleamed. The light, as it began to fade in the late afternoon, gave an ethereal glow to the autumn cloak of the many beautiful trees that are planted upon our own and our two neighbours estates. Such a glorious sight when one really wished to be gifted in the art of painting, however, such a glorious site is imprinted upon our minds eye to remember as the night falls.

Our Antipodean relatives continue their European tour but excitement is beginning to build for my guardians as they will, very briefly, be reunited with my lady guardian's twin sister and husband before they embark upon the journey home. A few brief hours, then they will take their leave, both parties uncertain of when they will see each other again due to professional commitments. This, dear friends, will not be easy but, for now, we dwell on the joy of the anticipated visit. 

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Tempts fugit....

Time does indeed fly does it not, for here we are at the official end of British Summertime and the clocks "fall" back an hour this very night. Our small family home bears testament to both my darling guardians interest in horology; my lady guardian in fine old chiming clocks and my male guardians appreciation and study of quality timepieces. The morn tomorrow will see a fine undertaking of adjustments to my lady guardians treasured timepiece, admirably monitored and checked by my male guardians gimlet eye for precision. We are inordinately fond of the somnabulistic sound of the timepiece that brings a metronomic rhythm to our daily lives, a gentle ticktocking, interspersed with the resonance of the chimes; quite the most beautiful and reassuring of sounds. One has to admire the wonder of horology, I am sure you agree. 

All Hallows' eve follows a day or two after,  the celebration of the dead. Many in the British Isles follow the tradition set in the America' s of pumpkin carving and many a fine example can be seen on one's travels. Thereafter, shortly follows Guy Fawkes night or, more colloquially, bonfire night. Already there are bonfires being built in the villages around us to celebrate this tradition. I have to declare this to be my least favourite of celebrations for the accompanying fireworks are shatteringly loud and unpredictable. For my fellow feline, canine or, indeed,  any one of the animal kingdom, I do hope you, our human guardians, take due diligence to ensure we are suitably cared for that night for you are our guardians. 

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Antipodeans on tour

My darling guardians were surprised and overjoyed this evening to receive an electronic communication from the Antipodeans, who as I write are bound for Rome. They appear to have been delighted by Corfu and enjoyed Athens, despite a freak thunder storm. The treasures of Italy await them with a few days spent in a variety of locations including Florence and Venice; oh my dears, one is quite envious of the art and architectural pleasures they will encounter. No doubt my lady guardians relatives will record their visits for sharing at some later date. 

For our little family here in England, we do so enjoy these updates. One can appreciate from afar the enjoyment for our relatives and friends for 'tis many a mile from such delights when one resides in the Colonies and one must take the opportunities to visit such places when one can. A most sensible undertaking and quite THE thing to do, and so educational. One cannot stint on one's education, regardless of age, do you not agree dear reader for, in the words of Samuel Johnson, "a generous and elevated mind is distinguished nothing more certainly than an eminent degree of curiosity".

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Country walks, family, friends, dogs and all.....

Alas, my dear male guardian was once again duty bound in his professional toil. At the earliest hour, he took the carriage and will not return til the sun has set. My lady guardian however, used to his working patterns, continues in her daily routines and rituals with forays away from the estate as the invitation or whim presents itself.

This afternoon saw once such invitation; a delightful few hours spent walking in our splendid countryside with family members, friends, offspring and dogs. A chill wind  prevailed  but this did not hamper the walkers, nor their offspring, for much scampering to and fro, tree climbing and general fun was had by all. Indeed, 'twas hard to determine quite who enjoyed the activities more. The dogs ran hither and thither, ridding themselves of the excess energy and stretching their legs, flopping on feet when a short break was partaken, tongues lolling, chests heaving. Me thinks all concerned will sleep well tonight. Whilst the wind was chill, the skies were clear allowing for suitable admiration of the stunning British countryside in its finest of colours. Ne'er a more splendid way to spend a fine autumn afternoon my dears.

My dear lady guardian has returned much refreshed and male guardian is homeward bound.Supper is warming, the lamps are lit and curtains pulled against the chill night air. Peace reigns as we sincerely hope it does for you too, dear readers.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Three degrees.....

My darling guardians were most fortunate to receive an invitation to the delightful gallery, gift and bookshop, Number Seven, in Dulverton for a book signing by Catherine Hyde; an artist and writer they enjoy. 'Tis always a little dangerous for my lady guardian to be invited to galleries and private viewings for she is inordinately fond of art, colour, textiles and the written word, in addition to nature and the seasons; why our little home is most definitely testament to this habit of hers. What a glorious display of art, books and wares did greet them on their arrival, as well as the usual warm welcome by the proprietors'. Today's visit was all the more delightful to be able to meet the artist and writer. Sadly my male guardian came away a "tad" poorer than he arrived, his pocket  book somewhat lighter for his pains. The only problem is to find somewhere suitable to display their fine purchases to my lady guardian's satisfaction.

To reach their destination, my guardians travelled across country through some of the most stunning scenery resplendent in the varying shades of autumn; red, gold, yellow, green and amber glowed in the autumn sunshine. The River Barle sparkled in the sunshine as they approached their destination, with a few hardy souls upon the water. Dulverton really is a most delightful place to visit with quite the most sensible of country establishments to satisfy one and make it suitable for local and visitor alike. My guardians have a soft spot for this delightful place, not least because of its position nestled in its stunning surroundings.

A drop of temperature by approximately three degrees is all it has taken to paint our beautiful country in its autumn finery. If you do nought else, take some time to appreciate the glory of nature at its finest before winter enchroaches as my dear guardians will continue to do. One has to admit however of taking the opportunity to catch up on some much needed napping, for one must ensure a full eighteen to twenty hours of sleep to be at one's glittering finest, do you not agree, dear friends?

Who, who, who

Now, as you know, we are a small rural estate, tucked away amidst beautiful rolling fields of farmland. We are most fortunate to enjoy this delightful position not least because of the wonderful wildlife we are able to appreciate as we exist alongside one another. Over the last week one has espied, nay heard, that glorious flight of the geese as they make their way t'ward their winter roosts. The cacophony of sound alerts one to the imminent fly by of the glorious "V" formation of migration, accompanied by the distinctive honking sound they make as they fly en masse above us. It really is quite a spectacular spectacle and one that speaks of the natural worlds cycle of the seasons. Truly a sight to behold.

We are also most fortunate to live in an area that has some fine wooded areas such as spinney's and, of course, small orchards, such as our very own, plus some very fine old Oak trees.  This also ensures that we are blessed with some delightful birds that enjoy such a varied habitat. The buzzard is a common site as we go about our business upon the estate, wheeling high above us with the familiar plaintive mewing call. Occasionally, a sparrow hawk sets the garden birds a flutter by swooping through the estate, hungry for lunch; many a pidgeon has been dispatched thus. A glorious bird it is indeed and oft races ahead of the carriage down the lane ahead of one before swerving away to soar again. These autumn nights with the cool stillness allow enjoyment of the Owls, making themselves known to one another. The Barn owls are quite incredibly noisy with their shrieking, hissing and snoring sounds; the Tawny owls with the female  "kerwick" sound and the male " hoohoo", and last but not least the the plaintive call of the little owl calling "kiew kiew" or "wherrow wherrow" which is oft said to sound like a small dog but, dear reader, I do believe sounds more to me like " hello hello" but perhaps I am becoming fanciful in my advancing years. Why, last evening, as we lay in repose before sleep, we enjoyed an orchestra of bird sounds that was led by the owl family much to the delight of my guardians and ensured a heart lightened by joy as we drifted into sleep. As I am fond of saying, and in the words of Shakespeare "such as dreams are made of".

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Gardening and convolutions

Once more, my lady guardian and I find ourselves home alone. Early showers gave way to sunshine therefore, not one to sit on her laurels, my lady guardian has taken the opportunity to catch up on some much needed gardening. The new front hedge has been inspected and tidied, the inner and outer banks trimmed, garden refuse gathered and yet more wind fall apples gathered. Whilst this was ongoing, laundry fluttered in the breeze and a very large pan of soup prepared for supper tomorrow, forward planning being imperative in a busy schedule. I, for my part, caught up on some much needed nap time rising when it was time to inspect the works and give my opinion on the standard. ''Twas easy for my lady guardian is a diligent worker and all was well. 

My lady guardian was most delighted to hear from the Irish section of the family this very morn. All has gone well with the visit and both sides of the family enjoyed some delightful hours spent catching up and exchanging news. No doubt a meal will have been partaken and perhaps a drop or two of the black stuff, if I did not know them better. The brother in law of my lady guardians twin sister (do keep up dears) is an artist in his own right and it is quite delightful to see that he is now enjoying a modicum of success, for he is a good artist. My lady guardian is an admirer of some of his work and finds it most satisfying to see his work recognised, for recognition in the arts can be difficult to obtain. The little twist in this tale is that the father of my lady guardians brother in law taught my lady guardians twin sisters brother in law to paint (still with me?) Is it not an enchanting tale and so heart warming that said brother in law (of my lady guardians twin sister) thus accredits him for this.

Dear reader, I am aware that it can make confusing reading, but my lady guardian is one of six thus there are numerous extensions of the family through relationships, marriages, and births.  The family, and its many extensions, are spread far and wide across the world anchored by my lady guardians parents who lay at rest here in the sanctuary garden. In the words of my lady guardian "the convoluted lives we do lead".

Saturday, 15 October 2016

The Hunter's moon

Well, my dears, I am in feline heaven. You may indeed ask for why and I will tell. My lady guardian did, last evening, swap the summer bedding for its autumn equivalent. My dears, it is sumptuously, heavenly warm and quite the most gorgeous of things; I am quite beside myself with delight. One quite sinks into its warm fluffiness as if a marshmallow. Oh, I do love the trappings of autumn homeliness. Perhaps the most enchanting of the autumn accompaniments is the large vase of chrysanthemums my lady guardian bought from a delightful lady in the village. Such a glorious display of autumnal colour, with a fragrance so evocative of the season. Quite, quite divine, my dears.

After the hustle and bustle of the last few weeks my lady guardian and I have spent the afternoon and evening a deux. My lady guardian was able to catch up with a family member for a cup of fine English tea before setting about a thorough cleaning and tidying session. Sadly, the weather became inclement and the laundry had to be dried by electronic means much to my lady guardian's consternation. However, our little home has been aired and refreshed to her satisfaction. My dear male guardian has sadly returned to his professional toil already much to our combined dismay but, as we are both aware, duty calls. 

This evening has seen the moon light the countryside with a beautiful shimmering light, know as the hunters moon; being referred to as such for we enter the season of hunter gathering prior to winter. Thus lit, the estate is espied shrouded in a light mist that followed the earlier heavy rain. The sky is clear, stars glisten, the temperature has dropped and the cows in the field are lowing. Oh, how we do love our rural surroundings; we are, my dears, truly blessed. 

Friday, 14 October 2016

On tour.....

Well, my dears, the antipodeans have popped over to Ireland to visit two further branches of the families. Thus saw my dear guardian's preparing the carriage at some forsaken hour to convey them to the safe hands of an experienced coachman for the onward progression of their journey. 

These last few days have been most delightful, full of coast and country walks, fun, laughter and joy with many photographic moments captured for the future. The weather has been most conducive to all the activities and only bringing forth rain on the day they leave. Shared meals, quiet contemplation and enjoyment in these simple pleasures has been paramount to all. 

Autumn has truly declared itself and the weather has begun to cool with one early morning frost. Early morning mists have given way to clear blue skies, and warm sunshine to revel in, so delightful my dears. 

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Exmoor, the Jurassic coast and more...

My dears, I have spent a most glorious lazy few days betwixt and between the sanctuary garden and one's day bed, enjoying the splendourous sunshine we have enjoyed this last few days.  Yes, there has been a nip in the air, indeed the first October frost, and breezy at times, but quite, quite delightful. A most becoming skyscape if I ever did see one; acres of blue sky and quite the fluffiest white cumulus clouds. My darling guardian's delighted in a slow start to the day, enjoying a later than normal rising. Whilst my male guardian took the carriage to dispose of garden refuse, my lady guardian ensured best use of the weather and thus before long a line of laundry fluttered in the breeze. Chores were undertaken post haste and, once they were assured of my comfort,  a day spent walking on Exmoor ensued. Across moors, lakes admired, Exmoor ponies delighted in and many a breath of fine country air drawn, before returning for a light afternoon tea in the comfort of our modest abode; oh the joy, scones fresh from the oven with plenty of fine English tea to wash them down. Suitably repleat, a quiet evening of reading, knitting and chattering ensued much to the delight of all concerned.

 Another fine English day followed by another have been spent enjoying the variety of landscapes we are so glad of; Jurassic coast, north coast, sand and pebbles, ammonites, moors and lakes, all accompanied by laughter and fun in abundance. Such that dreams are made of and the very same that make such precious memories.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Oh glorious country....

What beauty we espy as we travel on our daily rigours, for we are truly blessed to live in our glorious country. Day by day, Autumn is revealed to us, the cloak dropping from the shoulders of summer to blaze the finery of Autumn in red, orange, green, gold and more. The birds and wildlife gorge on their country larders in preparation for winter and we, on our small estate, revel in the seasons and the rituals that ensue. 

Today has been a relaxed at home day, the first of the season. Simple pleasures enjoyed; partaking of  a fine brewed coffee, the periodicals, toast and fine marmalade followed by a genteel pottery day to recharge one's batteries. Later, a good book, much laughter, fine homegrown produce and maybe a nip or two of a little sloe gin, allowed to mature for several years before imbibing. More importantly, time with loved ones with a matching appreciation of a life to be lived with enjoyment of the simple things in life. This is time to make memories and fond laughter for years to come.

I feel truly blessed to live such a life and be loved by my darling guardians. It is easy, is it not, dear reader, to forget how important these simple elements of life are. "Such as dreams are made of". It is all so easy to look for big  displays and events to judge one's life by, but there is nought so underestimated than a warm home, simple food and the love of family and friends to keep one's body and soul together. Take heed, dear souls, for simple things and kind gestures are what makes the world go round.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Country or city, that is the question...

My darling Guardians have spent a few days in the Metropolis with the antipodeans. I, for my part, have been looked after by a most delightful lady who has administered to my ever need and whim, which has been most delightful for a few days. We are, however, now back to normal and, dear friends, it has to be said that there is nought so enchanting than restoring one's life to normal after a few days of excitement. At my, ahem, great age, one likes one's comforts and we have settled down together again as if shrugging on a well worn, comfortable old cardigan. Bliss, sheer bliss. 

My guardians had a most exciting time during their stay in the Metropolis. My lady guardian's twin sister and husband had rented a most delightful apartment for the stay and, oh my dears, what a delight. Spacious, comfortable and, most importantly, a stone's throw from quite anywhere. Why, the four intrepid visitors walked and walked; quite exhausting my dears but oh how they did enjoy the various delights on offer. The delights of wandering at will to view the many wares on offer, a little light shopping and more importantly, afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason before an evening spent at The Globe Theatre to see the Merchant of Venice. Why, how this has elicited much excited chatter amongst them all; the tea at Fortnum's quite surpassing expectation and the skill of the Shakesperian actors much commented upon.

A visit to St Paul's Cathedral delighted one and all. Such an amazingly intricate building designed by the most talented of architects, Sir Christopher Wren, and well worth a visit. My dear guardians are quite smitten. One has to, of course, attempt the climb up through the dome which was successfully achieved, with a little time spent in the Whispering gallery which elicited a few moments of fun for the visitors.

Four weary travellers returned last evening and now have the delights of our beautiful countryside in its autumn garb to explore. I, for my part, have now not two but four adoring humans to minister to my needs. One will take one's advantages where one can, dear friends!

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Oh glorious day....

Oh, my dears, what a glorious day. A cool start but clear blue skies and a gentle breeze; quite stupendous. My dear guardians have spent the day in the garden and the home, making the most of the weather. The house has been scrubbed from top to bottom, windows wide, laundry fluttering on the breeze. The lawns have been mowed, numerous buckets of apples collected and general tidying undertaken. The carriage has been cleaned, inside and out and sits gleaming upon the drive. Oh glorious day, how we do love thee; so uplifting and so energising. An early night beckons, for how the fresh air has done us all good. We will be snug as bugs within the blink of an eye.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Sunshine and showers, apples and leaves...

'Tis inevitable, my dears, but the light has begun to fade earlier and this very evening the lamps were ablaze before the clock struck seven. A mixed weather day of brilliant sunshine and clear blue skies alternating with the darkest of grey clouds and rain showers, all accompanied by a fine blustery breeze. The apples upon the ground are accompanied by the falling of leaves, ablaze in their Autumn hues. As my guardians' and I contemplate the garden from the comfort of the armchair,  it is quite the Autumn picture that presents itself. Why the holly hedge is laden with the most plentiful supply of bright red berries that tempt the birds from the trees. There is nought so comforting as a warm lap and the golden glow of an early lit lamp to make one feel quite snug is there not? It is still too warm in our little family for heating of any kind to be considered, however we are aware that for some it is a requirement already. 

My dear lady guardian has not one but two woollen garments now in progress, a cardigan AND a pair of woollen socks. Now far be it for me to comment, but the latter look a tad too large for the delicate structure of my own fair paws. I do believe they are destined for one other than myself. Let us hope my lady guardian has ensured a plentiful supply of wool. 

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Antipodean visit

Well my dears, the Antipodeans are once again shortly bound for our shores. As you may remember, this visit has long been planned. Now the Antipodeans plans have waxed, waned and changed like Topsy, for they are now to do the "Tour". One might ask oneself what does one mean; In times past, one "did" the tour of Europe and educated oneself in the wonders of the world. They are taking the opportunity to not only meet friends from Australia also bound on travels, but also catching up with family. Dates have been chosen, plans scrutinised, adjusted and indeed quite a seven to eight week plan has transpired. Much of the "Tour" was ignited by that most beguiling of tombs "My Family and other animals" by the delightfully talented naturalists, Gerald Durrell. Those books written about his formative years really are quite the most delightful read and a must for anyone with an appreciation of fine literature. Therefore, after much consideration, my dear guardians will host the Antipodeans at some point amidst the tour. Over the coming month, rooms will be prepared in anticipation along with the purchase of fine provisions to share around the table. The larder has rich provinder with plum jam from the estate, sloe gin from local sloe's, apples and more.

This weekend saw my guardians host family and friends for a visit. A delightful few hours spent chattering and catching up over a fine cup of English tea. The youngest members of the family greatly enjoyed our small estate, with plenty of space to let off pent up energy. Much laughter, ribbing    and fun was had by all with firm plans to take a walk amongst our fine English countryside once a date has been agreed that is suitable for all.

Peace reigns currently; my guardians and I are spending a quiet evening and will attempt to snatch as many of these over the coming month before a most busy period begins. Happy days, dear friends, with the joyous anticipation quietly building in the background.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Apples, apples everywhere

Dear souls, the apple season is quite full upon us and, oh my, tis a bountiful season. Why my dear guardians eat numerous apples a day but not a dent does it make in the apple mountain. Surely, dear friends, the doctor should not be calling to this little country estate. Workmen and friends arrive empty handed but n'ere leave thus for there is plenty to go round and my guardians are delighted to share. For myself, I am not over partial.

'Tis still undeniably warm, with quite balmy days, however the nights continue to draw in and darkness is upon is before eight o'clock. September really is a glorious month however and one to be enjoyed. We were most fortunate to have been visited by a most splendid Hare a few nights ago. It came so close to the house it was a hare's breadth from the terrace and sat nibbling on the luscious clover. Oh what a splendid sight to behold, quite bewitching. The slightest sound and he was gone in the blink of an eye but oh, the joyous lift to one's heart, that we had been graced with such a close encounter. In the words of one famous gentleman, "Such stuff as dreams are made of".

Saturday, 17 September 2016

A most interesting week .....

What an interesting week it has been, dear reader. It has long been noted, by those in the know, that the water supply to our little community has sprung a leak. Nought has been done for many a month, which, my dears, seems somewhat wasteful. The last week however has seen some activity across the boundary hedge, and it has been, one must comment, quite amusing at times. Still, one does hope that all is soon rectified and the leak plugged, for  'tis so distressing to know that water is being wasted and a sobering thought when one thinks of cost. Let us hope they find it soon.

This very evening has seen a beautiful full moon that really was quite stunning, with a clear sky to enable one to observe it. My lady guardian took the opportunity to observe it through her telescopic glasses and oh what a becoming sight; why one felt one could put out ones hand and touch it. So, so beautiful. We are most fortunate to live in the countryside where there is little light pollution and ones neighbours are largely circumspect with the use of lighting. Long may this continue for the night sky is a wondrous thing to behold on a clear night; there is such beauty in the constellations.

Alas, 'tis late my dears and I really must  ensure my eight hours beauty sleep, for, as my late brother used to say, sleep really is underrated but quite, quite the most delicious thing. 

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Assessing one's boundaries....

Such a joy, my dears, for my guardian's to sleep until they wake naturally. So often their professional toil finds them away from our small estate. Today, despite my male guardian taking his small new carriage off to toil later in the day, the dawn saw us all sleeping the sleep of babes. Such joy and so good for the soul. Alas it did not last, however my lady guardian did take the opportunity to tackle the boundary and yew hedge. Our delightful neighbour had begun the Autumn clearing this very week and kindly cut his side of the  boundary hedge. Thus encouraged, a large part of the day was spent cutting both hedges, not completing the task til quite past my supper time. My dears, they look quite divine; straight and true for all to see. One does so love a beautiful boundary hedge. My lady guardian is most proud of the yew hedging that borders the sanctuary garden for many an admiring comment it does receive; why the postal man is quite smitten with its lines, a glorious batter shape of a true hedge.  No doubt the new hedge will be tended with equal care and attention.  The rain we have recently gladly received has revived and refreshed the garden and, if I say so myself, ' tis looking quite splendid.

My lady guardian and I now spend the evening in repose following such an undertaking. A fine cup of English tea, a knitted garment on the needles and a little light classical music. Candles are flickering for we are fond of the gentle light and atmosphere they impart. The evenings are drawing in and the sky has quite darkened as the clock chimes eight o'clock. Tis still warm and our little home retains the warmth of the day. A restful, contemplative time before we retire for the evening; just the ticket, dear chaps, just the ticket.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

The month of September

"No Spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face" (Donne) for, dear reader, there is a joy in natures last display before winter. September is a glorious month for it has the fading warmth of summer and the glorious colours of Autumn before October starts the slow  creep t'ward winter. It is a bounteous month with fruit and vegetables in our gardens plus the rich pickings of our countryside hedgerows. A busy time within the kitchen and garden alike. The larder replenished, the garden requiring tidying and thoughts turn to the year to come. Yesterday saw the first real rain for some time with heavy prolonged downpours that were absorbed by thirsty gardens and fields alike. The holly hedge at the front of our estate bears many clusters of berries waiting to turn the joyous red they are renowned for. Let us hope, dear reader, this does not predict too harsh a winter to come, for despite my lady guardian's love of a cooler climate, one must remember the chaos that ensues in England at the glimpse of snow.

Indoor plants have spent some refreshing time on the terrace and will return to the house before the weather cools. Gutters have been inspected, cleared and repaired, and woodwork scrutinised to ensure hardiness for the months ahead. I am enjoying, my dears, this glorious month knowing that the warmth will gradually fade from the days; how abruptly and exactly when will be hard to pinpoint but I rest easy in my bed knowing that my guardian's are well prepared. This very day has seen my lady guardian "black" the log burner and briefly light it to remove the smog this task inevitably incurs. Better now, when ones windows can be thrown wide and the ensuing smog be readily dispersed; this is a tedious task but one best undertaken early. The log burner thus stands prepared.

September is the month of my male guardian's birthday thus my lady guardian and I attempt to conspire on a little something to celebrate the occasion. 'Tis not an easy task for my male guardian is a man of discerning taste and we must choose carefully. I have no doubt that a large slice or two of some sweet confectionary will be partaken at the appropriate juncture to celebrate the occasion. 

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Early awakening

My lady guardian and I awoke early this morning; snuggled in our bed, listening to the dawn chorus. At first, a darkened sky with a single chirrup  building to a crescendo as the fingers of light spread across the sky to an all encompassing blaze of sunshine. From the comfort of  our mattress, the pigeons cooed atop the roof and the apple tree, laden with fruit, came in to view, the sun dappling it's leaves. A lazy, hazy start to the day with a refreshing coolness. After performing ones ablutions, I partook of an early light breakfast whilst my lady guardian prepared the first cup of English tea, to be partaken from the comfort of ones bed whilst contemplating the day ahead, the soft golden light illuminating our thoughts and plans. Dew drenched spiders webs glisten in the early sunlight, the light breeze gently stirring the leaves like a gentle caress. The stillness of this hour, before all around us stir, is a bewitching time. The calm before the storm, one of my lady guardian's favourite times; the joy of an early summers morn cannot be underestimated for bathing in the early morning glow of sunshine sets one up for the day.

Monday, 29 August 2016

August Bank Holiday

Hello again, dear friends. We are so fortunate, are we not, to enjoy a late summer Bank Holiday and, more importantly, one that has been full of glorious sunshine. Add to this the joy of my male guardian not being at his professional toil for the day; why, I do believe, the planets have aligned! What a day it has been; from rising when one wakes, to pottering in the estate gardens, picking our plums for jam and generally doing as one pleases, without an eye to the clock. Sheer bliss. In between the pottering has been a lunch al fresco and many a pot of fine English tea to sustain us. My lady guardian has taken time, inbetween, to add the odd row or two to a knitted garment, whilst my male guardian has perused the periodicals. 'Tis a peaceful scene; thankfully, my male guardian is not a gentleman who feels the need to quote from the articles within the periodicals and can be guaranteed to enjoy them calmly whilst enjoying the sanctuary garden. 

A small batch of plum jam has been added to the bounty that is being stored within the larder; a deep jewelled colour to delight the eye and titilate the senses. At the end of the day, we will retire to the cool of our little home, protected from the heat with half drawn drapes and blinds, so refreshing after a day spent on the estate. A restful evening will be had for a busy schedule is planned for the morrow.
We do so hope that you too have enjoyed this splendid August Bank Holiday.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Betwixt and between

Oh my, my, how time does fly. It feels all betwixt and between seasons at the moment; warm and sunny, overcast and humid or with a little nip in the air on our early mornings with a fine mist drifting across the fields and caressing the tree trunks. Why, one can barely decide what one's day will bring. Our farming friends are also betwixt and between with some previously golden fields now a rich and succulent chocolate brown of ploughed furrows, straight and perfectly formed. 

My lady guardian has now completed a woolen garment for my male guardian to keep him warm in his travels through the cooler months; a vision of blues, greys, heathers and teals - most becoming My male guardian has long suffered the tedious garment problem for the tall and slim gentleman about town, arms too short and body too wide. At last a bespoke garment, knit to his specifications. How he will glory in warm wrists and waist, as many a tall, slim gentleman will envy.

Today saw a journey to the local wool merchant to purchase some quality wool to complete a garment started by my lady guardian's dear late mother. It is part completed and required further supplies to enable the project to move forward. Much to her delight, the wool merchant in question was able to supply a perfect solution. Such helpful people. My lady guardian has long been taught by her mother and older sisters that a quality merchant is worth their weight in wool and should be sought at all costs, as well as the best quality one can buy. This maxim dear friends, has proved invaluable. Whilst a late starter to the craft, my lady guardian enjoys nought more on an Autumn/winter evening, when my male guardian is away at professional toil, than to relax to the soothing rhythm of the needles, a little light classical music gently playing. If 'tis a cold winter's  evening, then the crackle of the fire will accompany us. That said, we are currently oft found, in the warm weather, sat upon a garden bench taking the air whilst my lady guardian divides her time between chores, gardening and the odd row or two of stitches between times. Simple pleasures.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Apple harvest and more

Dear souls, the apple harvest is imminent and it looks to be a bumper year. My dear guardian's are prepared and have a number of sidelines that look to be "fruitful" in their return. Some of the crop, however, will be harvested for the pleasure of eating juicy, sweet, stripey apples that are really quite delicious, on their own or as an accompaniment to a fine local cheese. Some will be stored in a cool place to use in the kitchen as required and others given to relatives and friends as requested. The plums also are also looking rather fine; my lady guardian, whilst not too concerned with jam, is somewhat partial to well made plum jam therefore a small batch will be made to enjoy as our weather turns t'ward autumn, or indeed winter. There is nought more rewarding than enjoying the fruits of ones own labour with fruit and vegetables from ones small estate. 

The weather forecasts proved correct and the latter half of the week, and early weekend, saw downpours enough to thoroughly water our small parched estate gardens and gladden the heart of many a local gardener. The water butts are once more brimming, much to the satisfaction of our  lady guardian. 

The evenings are drawing evermore inwards and darker evenings are once more upon us. It would be dishonest of me if I did not admit, dear reader, to being fond of a warm, comfortable lap on which to ensconce myself as the light fades. My dear guardian's are most accommodating; we all enjoy that time at the end of the evening when we are all safely gathered in from our various duties and can enjoy a little time together before we retire for the day, to repeat it all again on the morrow. The rythm of life at its finest. 

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Brown and parched....

For many, our summer has been a celebration of sunshine, the harvest golden, ripe and safely gathered in. However the words of Blake do mock us in reference to our green and pleasant land for, dear reader, it has to be said we are more "brown and parched" than "green and pleasant". A little short sharp downpour finally ensued over parts of our rural county last evening but not nearly enough to create the lush and verdant picture we are so used to. Never fear, my dears, for English weather is a law unto its self and the three day forecast is looking somewhat damp, to say the least, with warnings of sharp blustery showers. Time will tell dear souls but memories of '76 abound and we wait with bated breath, for changeable is a word perhaps closely associated with English weather and for which we are famous. As my guardian writes, the sound of farm machinery abounds, why the farmer across the lane has commenced preparation for the next phase for the hundred acre field, a sure sign of advancing seasons.

Yesterday evening, my lady guardian and I were fortunate to espy a green woodpecker upon the garden path enjoying a light snack of ants; such beautiful plumage, such an enchanting call. We do so admire the local wildlife.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Balmy days

Dear friends, we have enjoyed another glorious weekend of sunshine much to my male guardian's delight for he was free from his professional toil for two whole days along with my lady guardian. Oh how delightful to glory in time that is ones own with one's family. We have enjoyed al fresco meals,  peaceful contemplation, and glorious sunshine to gladden the heart. Both my guardian's look hale and hearty, why my male guardian is nut brown in colour. How he does love the summer season, one which my lady guardian endures. However, it is good for the harvest which around us has been completed, with the last bales gathered in this very afternoon. Alas, what has been good for the harvest has turned the lawns brown in places for there has been little rain; our rural county does also turn this particular shade of parched grass.  The new yew hedge is being nurtured through this time for it would easily perish. As the evening cooled my guardian's spent time watering and tending, whilst I ensured that the correct procedures were followed. We have spent a delightful few hours since in repose upon the sofa, enjoying each other's company before we begin the new week. How I do enjoy out time spent thus, for we are family. 

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Harvest time

Oh my, harvest has begun, how very exciting. I do so love the regularity and rhythm that harvest time brings to the calendar. Fields of golden crops cut and turned to ensure a dry crop and then the most delightful of sounds, the thump, thump of the baler spewing forth perfectly formed bales. In these times of technology harvest time is a little easier than it was but, my dears, still a very busy time for our farming community. Late into the night they work with their tractors, lights ablaze to gather the  crop in before rain ruins it, for a wet crop will rot in storage. The smell upon the air is sweet and comely; why my dear late brother used to relish laying amongst the crops for this heady of smells, returning for supper redolent of the smell of harvest time. One can hear and see where the tractors are before they arrive on the horizon for the sound of machinery and a rising cloud of crop dust trailing them. Oh how my lady guardian and I do relish the sights and sounds of this calendar staple. Our farming community is the very backbone of England, feeding us with crops, milk, meat, eggs and more as well as caring for this green and plentiful land. We salute and thank you for your hard work and care of our glorious countryside, mud, muck and all.

Saturday, 6 August 2016


My lady guardian and I have spent a productive time this very day. The windows are once again thrown wide, laundry flutters in the breeze and cupboards are stripped of there contents; lashings of hot soapy water and good old elbow grease have been employed. We have had the annual spring clean and are now undertaking the summer "refresh". Dear souls, I do believe if I lay still I may well find myself well and truly "done". I have no doubt that my lady guardian will undertake an Autumn appraisal before the winter onslaught. Whilst I am a firm believer in a tidy home, dear friends, I do believe one should rest in between endeavours but no, my lady guardian has that look in her eye and nought shall remain unturned, scrubbed or cleansed. I confess I seek refuge in my dear late brothers sanctuary in the garden at times like these; a cool, green, snug den under the yew hedge, bliss my dears, bliss. Until of course one hears the faint sounds of supper being prepared. Meal times must, my dears, be strictly adhered to.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

British weather.....

It has to be said that the good old British weather is complex and, to outsiders, really quite hard to understand. My dear lady guardian however loves the variable nature of it, come rain or shine. We are thankful for the recent rain to water the parched gardens, in particular the new hedge, which has undergone a small growth spurt. So very exciting, my dears. My guardian's have been in correspondence with the antipodean branch of the family who are experiencing a cold snap; why they have had a fire lit of late, it transpires. Really quite hard to believe for those of us less well travelled, for the Australia's are oft portrayed as a such a hot country. I fear a little too hot for oneself I do believe.

The harvest fields grow more golden by the day; such a glorious sight to behold on a summers day, miles of waving crops like a golden sea upon the land. The small orchard is aglow with the rosy hue of apples peeking forth from their green finery, and what are crop we do anticipate to take us through autumn to winter. The periodicals that my guardian's do so enjoy turn their thoughts to Autumn, indeed the nights have already begun that slow drawing in. Our British seasons are such a delight, are they not. Summer has produced plentiful supplies of vegetables all prepared and preserved by my lady guardian for the seasons ahead. Such a satisfying task that gives one a warm glow. My lady guardian is very fond of the Scandinavian hygge, enjoying the simple pleasures, good food and company, cosied up by the fire in winter and candlelight. We endeavour to take a leaf out of our Scandinavian friends book and practice what they preach, learning to live with what our seasons throw at us. Oh England, my lionheart; how we do love thee.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Glorious weekend

Oh my dears, what glorious weather we have enjoyed this fine weekend. Why, both my guardians were with me and we did spend the larger part of it enjoying our small estate and partaking of our meals "al fresco". There are, of course, always jobs to be undertaken but they are no hardship when the sun is shining and a light breeze prevails to keep one cool. The lawns therefore are neat and trim thanks to my male guardian, whilst my lady guardian did tidy the new front border. The new roses are in bloom, planted in memory of my lady guardian's departed mother, plus the rose planted for her father (some eighteen years ago) has delayed its blooming to flourish together. United in their beauty and the joys they give. I, for my part, ensured the standards my dear late brother did believe in. 

This evening we spend some joyous hours as a family, enjoying each other's company, resting before my guardians' return to their professional toil. Oh how we do enjoy these restful hours together. For we are lucky to have one another, of that we are sure.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Rest and recuperation

For those of you who have followed us a while, you will know that I am a firm exponent of the restorative powers of a little rest and recuperation. It has therefore been delightful to have my guardian's with me this last week doing just that, away from professional toil, allowing oneself to "sniff the roses". In this thoroughly modern world it appears all too easy to set ones cast, jump on the treadmill and keep going, full pace without thought for ones peace of mind. This week has been about freeing the mind to float at will and enjoy simply being, to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us and enjoy each other's company. Delight has been taken in being the three of us, free from duty, and expectation. Such a life enhancing time. Enjoying our modest home, our lives unfettered by the ticking of the clock nor demands of others. My dears, we thoroughly recommend it. So restorative. 

The joy in waking unencumbered by routine, by taking pleasure in simple summer foods, a good book, the garden, glorious music, all accompanied by an English country garden at the height of summer and those important to us. Simply divine, my dears, simply divine.

My lady guardian is so very fond of the poem "What is this life so full of care, we have no time to stand and stare", a worthy read to reflect upon and one, as you know,  I thoroughly recommend my dears.

Thursday, 21 July 2016


Well, dear friends, the first two days of this week did remind my dear guardian's of the summer of '76, with clear blue skies as far as the eye could see and blazing sunshine reportedly hotter than the Sahara. How my male guardian did love it, however, those of you in the know will remember my poor dear lady guardian's aversion to anything above 20 degrees. Two days to be endured and despite not venturing forth in direct sunlight, managed to catch the sun despite all attempts to avoid this very situation; alas being of the Celtic red colouring has its disadvantages. Not however to look a gift horse in the mouth with enforced static activities, some small fine knitted garments have been attempted in reference for future work and a very pleasing outcome there was, much to my lady guardian's delight. For myself, I have done my duty and kept my guardian's company whilst sat in the sanctuary garden, one under a becoming garden parasol, the other very definitely enjoying the sunshine

Today, we have had a light smattering of rain amidst the warmth, for which we are grateful,  as the new hedging is still in its early stages requiring copious watering from the water butts, the contents of which are now very low. The grain in the fields surrounding us is a glorious golden and in certain parts of the county, harvesting has begun. Oh my, how the year does fly. Our small estate looks glorious and a joy to behold, much to the delight of my guardian's.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016


Dear reader, I do impart this in a whisper, for I believe the elusive British summer day did show its face briefly this very day. Quite the most delightful afternoon. I confess I did spend it in the sanctuary garden betwixt the new sun terrace and the shade of the orchard, as I whiled away my time between guardian's, taking the air, or as my late darling brother would oft be heard quoting " busy doing nothing, working the whole day through, trying to find lots of things not to do". I do, of course, beg to differ for I do believe in the restorative benefit of contemplation and where better to undertake this than the sanctuary of ones own garden at the peak of loveliness. Why the roses abound, hydrangeas are aplenty and the mock orange is quite a sight for sore eyes. It does fair drive the honey and bumble bees wild. What is more British than the sound of a busy bee perusing the gardens floral delights, the sound of its buzzing waxing and waning as it negotiates the various flowers, whilst one lies  basking in the glorious warmth of a fine summers day. The crops in the fields surrounding our little estate grow steadily more golden preparing for their day of harvest and, oh my, how the apple crop does grow. How the seasons do race t'ward one another. My male guardian and I do fully intend to enjoy each joyous summer day to its fullest, lapping up the warmth of the sun. We do so hope you have the opportunity to do the same.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Oh my dears........

Oh my dears, what an awful, awful time we have had trying to understand this technology. Why, I can only apologise, for it had near defeated us. We were, however, my dears, saved from ruin by my male guardian with his knight in shining armour helmet firmly in place and lo, we are back! Such a momentous relief and all thanks to our darling man. Why, my dear lady guardian was quite beside herself with frustration. Thankfully, all is resolved and we thank you for your interminable patience. 

Well, quite frankly, where to start. Perhaps the beginning would be best. 

Since our last missive, our small estate garden has undergone some refashioning, as we had previously eluded to. The sun terrace has been completed and oh my, what a transformation. A little larger and LEVEL, dear reader, level. One cannot explain the joy for my guardian's in being able to partake of a much needed cup of tea without fear for the family crockery. Afternoon tea can be partaken safely. 

The new border has burgeoned; the roses are out in all their glorious splendour. Why, the rose so kindly bought in memory of my lady guardian's mother (by my lady guardian's professional colleagues) is most becoming in all its beauteous pink colouring. The scent is quite marvellous to behold. Thank you so much professional colleagues, such a kind gesture.

The sanctuary garden has also undergone a small face lift, with tired plants removed and new planting now established. Oh the joy of selecting and planting anew, such a delight and it has certainly been worth the wait, dear friends.

Lastly, the boundary hedge to the fore of our little estate has been removed and replaced with a new, and, one trusts, more manageable yew hedge. The current changeable weather has been to the benefit 
of this new planting, much to my guardian's relief. 

The garden therefore abounds in all its summer finery, scenting the air with the most delicious of fragrances. Truly a sanctuary to revel in.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Serious designs on the estate gardens

Well, dear friends, there has been quite some consideration regarding the estate gardens. My lady guardian, despite her professional toil and charity work, has found some time in her erstwhile busy schedule to turn thoughts to the home front, in particular, the gardens of our small estate. There has been much pondering, research, measuring and head scratching. A new border has been started and work begun to remove an old hedge; measurements taken and calculations made for the order of whips for the new hedge. The small sun terrace has been reviewed; for some time it has been obvious that it would need renewing. My guardian's had put this off for some time however the proverbial bullet bitten and a date set for the upheaval to begin. Oh my goodness, the mess that will ensue. It has to be said that a low profile will be kept on my part during these operations. However, it will be a delight to partake of one's meals "al fresco" during the summer months.

The new border has been enhanced with good old fashioned scented roses of quite the most delightful of gentle shades. No plant has been left unconsidered in the search for plants that are becoming and enhancing with the added benefit of attracting the wildlife. 

The sanctuary garden is also receiving a review, with old plants past their best removed and a good tidy up for the rest of the borders. Such a satisfying job with the added benefit of a beautiful garden to behold once it has established. 

The onset of Spring and British summer time have put a spring in my guardian's step and our small estate is benefitting from this. One has to monitor their enthusiasm, therefore I spend many an evening and weekend with them in the garden, weather permitting. Despite the extra hours of sunshine, we still have sharp frosts, as we did this very morning, and the winds can be quite cold from the north or east. Oh I do delight in the springtime, such a beautiful time of year.

Monday, 11 April 2016


Relationships, are they not the most fascinating of things, my dears? I do find the intricacies of a relationship most informative and, indeed intriguing. What is it that lays the foundation for a person's interaction with others? Is it within their very make up, is it learnt behaviour; from the environment we exist in, or one's mental ability to understand and process what happens to us and what goes on around us? Or is it purely based on a primeval instinct to survive, to chop and change to match the situation.
I have to confess, like my dear late brother, I am an ardent people watcher. Such a fascinating subject with never ending potentials. I have quietly observed, and reflected upon, the happenings within our lives over the last six months. I am never surprised by humanity nor the complexity of the lives they live, how lives are interwoven and relationships created or broken in the blink of an eye. As in the words of Confucius "life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated."  However, the words of Maya Angelou resonate "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel."
I am fortunate to have a relationship with my guardian's that is warm and makes me feel safe. Their love for me is consistent, understanding that whilst I may change, our relationship does not. I am, dear friends, a most fortunate individual, to be on the receiving end of such unconditional love, even, it has to be said, despite my habit of sitting on my lady guardian's pillow and grooming her. Yes, I am an early bird, but one must ensure one's family are presentable, even if this means a grooming session at four in the morning. 
Do you not agree?