03.04.13 Ghosts and Periwinkles

I’m just back from my morning walk with the dogs. Yet again April has blessed us with a magical day, white frost underfoot accompanied by glorious sunshine. A sunglasses and puffer jacket day.

I met Andy the Estate gamekeeper and, despite the biting wind on the top of the farm, heard all the gossip – my lips are sealed!

The periwinkles up by Hall wood still a delight with a carpet of intense colour; the violets – well the violets are very much living up to their shrinking violet image, and are quite difficult to see, but the colour, so different to the periwinkles, is almost shocking when viewed against the dull dead leaves of autumn.



Wood Violets

Wood Violets

I paused this morning and sat on one of my husband’s benches, he’s now too frail to walk very far, so the benches are somewhat neglected, and alas, a little worn. A rabbit (it may be a rat – but I prefer to think rabbit) is burrowing underneath this particular bench and will, I think, eventually cause a collapse, but sufficient unto the day………………..


Bernard's bench

Bernard’s bench

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Bench plaque..And I being here.......

Bench plaque..And I being here…….


This was the bench I gave him and it has a wonderful view, one can see right over to The Hanging Wood; it also faces east and is sheltered by the wood, a really warm spot first thing in the morning if the sun shines.

Toward the hanging Wood

Toward the hanging Wood

The wind is chilling though, and for that reason I came back via Bone Yard field which is down in the valley and sheltered. Bone Yard – a name that is centuries old and is so called because of the number of bones that surfaced each time the field was worked. Way back in the fifties, my husband (an anthropologist) and a colleague from Cambridge (a physiologist), along with some students, excavated part of the field which turned out to be an Anglo Saxon burial ground. On some mornings a mist gathers over the valley and the Bone Yard takes on a strange and beautiful atmosphere; I just want to stand and stare, and let this huge sense of history, of life going on, changing and evolving, wash over me. I am privileged; and I, being here and part of all this; caught and thrown like sun on water have been part of all around me.  It doesn’t matter where we live, country or town; we should stop and listen to the past and remember that life goes on, and that by living our lives we become part of all around us.

Yesterday’s sunny afternoon was spent in the garden. Garden chairs were dragged by me, (carried by Jem), to a warm spot under the protection of the walls. My husband was wrapped in blanket and topped with a Panama to join in the fun. The fun being Alice co-opted into modelling the sample knitwear pieces ready for publication of my patterns.

Alice wearing Kaleidpscope

Alice wearing Kaleidpscope

 Jem was the photographer; I was in charge of my cherubic grandson, Teddy. Teddy  soon discovered the delights of tubes; an old cardboard fabric tube became,  a trumpet, a drum stick, and the amazing discovery that a small hand would  fit perfectly inside gave a great deal of pleasure – then on to the heavy weighted parasol stand, would that small hand also fit in there – tight fit or what? The image of three worried adults carrying a small surprised Teddy and a heavy marble stand to A&E did pass through my mind………..  Would I ever be trusted with him again? Thankfully the said chubby, dimpled, hand did not fit……….whew.

In amongst all the goodbyes, (my little French family returned home to Antibes yesterday), the photography and the grand-mothering, I managed to knit another piece for the Valbonne tunic and several little minnows for the fish coat. And Alice’s adventures in Knitting Land saw her knitting her first cord – simple when you know how – isn’t it always…………..


Valbonne Tunic

Valbonne Tunic

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