Loving gratitude for an abundant harbour…

A gifted mat from my niece, a coaster with Em as a toddler and a heart stone from the beach on my new desk.

A rich moving experience has flowed over a fortnight and it has been interesting. Moving things in isolation whilst respecting social distancing, a removal man whose attitude is calling for him to take up a different profession, a week later another removal man (recommended by a new neighbour) bringing in more furniture with his buddy and making me laugh, moving day involving the builders here still beavering away, many hours of scrubbing, gifted furniture, a friend’s husband on loan for DIY, hot dinners being dropped off, multiple deliveries, getting to know my postman (Rob, who is lovely), having to change internet provider mid-order and it all working for five minutes before the power went out for a long time (taking the super-smart boiler and hot water with it) and my body protesting throughout.

My heart is full of gratitude to my Mum and Dad, loving friends, kind neighbours, a community-led village, companies who are still running in hard times, delivery drivers going above and beyond, refuse collectors taking away my excess with a wave and a smile, a landlord who knows what he is doing with his loving son who makes things happen and a comfy wing-back chair and Netflix when I need to pause.

On Sunday morning, I stood in the sunshine with the birds singing, the church clock chiming and washing blowing on the line, as I planted up some butterfly boxes on the garden wall just outside my workroom. My cup runneth over. ❤

Neighbourly love and support…..

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One of my lovely neighbours popped across our back gardens in her dressing gown this morning, with a bunch of dried lavender in her hand and a box of freshly laid eggs from her hens. Her loving face at my back door, and the healing lavender in her hand, was a most welcome sight this morning.

Last night, Emily and our friends came over for dinner, and it was such a warm evening we ate outside. Laughter and catch-up nattering floated across the gardens, and mingled with other neighbours doing the same thing. When I went outside to clear up later, a neighbour had left their halogen light on so I could see what I was doing. I also had help putting various bins out, as I spread the garden waste load from a job (earlier this week) across several bins! As I washed up, I saw some re-cycled jam jars and fresh apples on my table outside, thoughtfully left there without fuss.

Plans on the new little venture unraveled with speed this weekend and I had a bit of a pickle to sort out. With the best will in the world some folk mean well, but their talk does not translate into action. A neighbour stepped in with support and we whizzed about in her estate car on Monday morning. Order was restored.

I have taken the strands of the new venture, the ones that I can do on my own, and started doing them. With the loving energy surrounding us all here and the peaceful kindness, any hurdles can be cleared.

The restorative powers of friends who make you laugh and Mars bars…….

laughter

It happens to us all and this week I got a dollop of it as life’s irritants got the better of me for a little while.

Take a handyman who plays fast and loose with the schedule yet produces great work (albeit painfully slowly), a landlord who views everything as a battle (including conversations), my work shifts going to pot because of the first two points, a beltingly difficult face to face client, another beloved client under pressure who is emigrating and I am selling things for her, the weather, a beautifully handmade window blind not fitting (I measured it, I really did), an ‘out and out’ liar, Microsoft losing my account and fatigue (a friend helpfully suggesting this is hormonal….) and well, you get the gist.

I followed my instinct today and put a rescue plan into place immediately, just in case I was tempted to remove a certain part of my landlord’s anatomy that I am sure he is fondly attached too.

I texted my neighbour who I guessed was on her way home from work. She is ‘fabalous’, a word we invented after sampling her vodka mixers, where I swear I lost all the hairs in my nostrils on taking the first sip. My text read ‘Please come round when you can and bring Mars bars….I will trade homemade cake’. She did and we sat drinking tea (honestly), eating cake and Mars bars and the walls were soon ringing with our usual helpless laughter. Balance was quickly restored.

God bless her, for she is truly ‘fabalous’……x

Living and thriving….

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This glorious rose is my neighbours, yet growing right outside my back door thanks to these ‘higgeldy piggeldy’ gardens of ours.

Yesterday I found myself on a bus in the morning rush hour and it warmed my heart when several times the young folk on the bus got up to let the elderly have a seat.

One elderly lady showed me where I needed to get off the bus and then walked and talked with me as she took me all the way to my destination. Bless her.

A freshly baked cake made with gifted free range eggs brought a neighbour to my door and a new friendship was formed over shared life experiences.

I have tackled the ‘day of the triffids’ and a veggie plot has emerged in my back garden edged with existing woven hazel borders and planting left by the previous tenant.

My new next door neighbour sighed with gratitude as she landed this weekend and had the best night’s sleep she has had for a long time.

We all gathered in the early evening sunshine last weekend for a ‘Pimm’s o’clock’ after a hard days gardening and yes, the sound of laughter carried for some distance.

Emily and I had the chance to wrap our arms around each other, talk properly, laugh and sing ourselves silly yesterday.

My lovely neighbour on the other side of me has been a great taxi this week and a true buddy. There is a theme developing here as laughter has filled the car on our journeys together.

There is magic here and I am thriving. X

It’s The Waltons…or something pretty close to it….

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I love living here and it feels like I have stepped through a portal into another life, a old fashioned good one.

At the back of all these little cottages there is a staggered and ‘higgeldy piggeldy’ collection of gardens and in the midst of these there is a row of huge fir trees. They have grown way too big and tall with their shadows stretching out across gardens some way beyond our little collection. Considerate conversations have been taking place and we have all agreed that by banding together we can tackle the work and everyone benefits.

This evening we set too and ‘Fearless Fred’, from a few doors down beyond our cottages, climbed to the top of the first tree. My photo gives some idea of scale and a few of my new found friends could not watch him up there. Another neighbour, all ‘goggled up’, has been wielding his electric chop saw and a kind soul from further down in the village is coming up on Saturday with his chain saw.

The companionship, banter and laughter floated across the early evening sunshine as branches dropped from on high, were chopped up and the debris was cleared. A young lad happily played football (safely) in the lower gardens whilst his Dad sawed away amidst the tree tops. The good feeling out there lifted a neighbour who has been poorly as she came out for a bit of company in the fresh air.

My buddy from a few doors down and I have just sat on her beautiful swing seat and had a natter as we watched the moon rise. Her humour is sharp with dead pan delivery and I am still giggling. We’ve tidied up and have all come in now.

A special evening…..’Night John Boy’.

Rain and good intentions….

cycling in the rain

Five weeks ago I moved here and my car was sold to secure my new home. ‘Don’t worry’ I assured my loved ones, I will make full use of the internet for grocery shopping, my clients can come here to see me, I will offer yummy food as you visit and when I need to go anywhere I will use my push bike….brave words.

Notice the five weeks and I will admit that the bike has been nestling undisturbed in my shed the whole time. I woke up yesterday needing milk and gave myself a stern talking to while I showered. Reminding myself of all the things I had tackled in my adventurous life so far….all the excuses of snow and ice over the last five weeks melted under my own words.

I grabbed my purse and off I set. Have I mentioned that I live on a hill? I flew down, which was quite enough excitement for one day, and then the heavens opened and I mean opened. The rain lashed at me, it really did, and I was drenched in seconds. I pushed on and soon discovered that there are a few hills between the nearest village shop and my new place. I paused to shelter in a peaceful churchyard, as the church is no longer used and preserved as a historical site.

I made a sensible decision resting under the yew trees and turned back to walk home pushing my bike up these picturesque and challenging hills.

As I rounded the last hill for home a neighbour spotted me and it’s testimony to her kindness that she did not laugh. Wonderfully practical she asked if I was alright and was I exploring or actually trying to get somewhere for something. I was only able to splutter that I was far from fit and in need of milk. Different cycling routes were explained, a corner shop pointed out that was at least two miles closer and she brought me milk when she returned within an hour.

I am not giving up on the bike and am baking for my kind neighbour….