Archive for February, 2007

home and dry

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007 | home | No Comments

Today is a day when it’s good to be home and dry. I can hear the rain lashing against the windows, watch the drops run down, glistening in the streetlight and all the while hear the gentle tick of the radiators warming up. Zack, who is a bear of much sense, is nestled on a cushion next to me, occasionally opening his eyes to give me a look before stretching out a paw and letting his chin fall back into place.

I have found myself thinking more often of living in the countryside over the past few weeks. This evening is one I can imagine being perfectly spent in front of an open fire, watching the flames crackle and snap whilst knowing full well that the downpours continue on the other side of the walls. The church bells I can hear ringing from St Peters I imagine are from a village church, nestled between yew hedges with a graveyard full of stones bearing barely legible epitaphs.

It is fortunate that I have nothing planned for the evening but to cook lasagne and curl up on the middle of my sofa, cushions and blankets and bears at the ready with an Agatha Christie or P D James and nothing to interrupt but Mr Zack’s slow purr. I have prescribed this night of self-indulgence to help ease the melancholy that has slipped over me for the past week or so. I shall refuse to let the grey clouds past the windows, instead basking in the soft light and tempting smells of browning mince and garlic.

valentines

Thursday, February 15th, 2007 | countryside, sophie | No Comments

At just after seven we loaded the car and headed out, headlights popped up, along the A27. Over the Kingston roundabout and on, past Beddingham, Selmeston and down the winding lanes to Alfriston, shrouded in darkness bar the occasional lit window.

Our hotel lay behind a long and smooth lawn, lit up to guide us in. We parked the car, dropped off our bags and walked the short distance along the pavement to The George. It is a beautiful pub, oak beams bringing the ceiling down low, a roaring open fire and leather sofas making up the quiet snug. We supped on delicious local ham, roasted garlic, warmed balsamic vinegar and home made bread. Then fillet steak on half a toasted muffin with home made béarnaise sauce, thick cut chips with a sprinkling of salt. Finally there was chocolate ice cream for my boy and an enormous board of cheese for me, crackers sloping off the sides and thick creamery butter. We drank red wine and talked low in the candlelight.

The phone never rang, there was no car in sight and walking back through the night we marvelled at the brightness of the stars. And how delicious to wake up to bird song and out of the window the river, winding back and forth across the fields, trees bare of leaves and not a sound of traffic or people to be heard. Perfect.

a return

Monday, February 12th, 2007 | sophie | No Comments

Dear Readers, I do apologise for my recent lack of posting. Life recently has been somewhat busy, on those occasions when I have found myself with a brief period of peace my brain has only come up with utter nonsense. “Oh yes,” it will say, “ice over the road and breed slightly lop-sided penguins. Then we can indeed invade France and steal all their cheese!” Not, perhaps, the most helpful of ideas, but I admit to being somewhat fond of French cheeses.

I have, however, finally got the sitting room painted. It is now a delicious pale greeny/blue, which brightens up the whole room. I have found myself picking up the rolls of wallpaper and holding them against this glorious colour, smiling gleefully. I’m crossing my fingers that it won’t be too long until this final bit is done and can then move onto the bedroom and that beautiful golden Chinese dragon print.

Last Wednesday I had a lovely visit from Katharine and Lyndsey. We spent an evening drinking wine, trying on my fabulous new corset and gossiping in true girly fashion. With the flat beginning to look more like a home and less like a storage facility, more visits from friends are in order. This evening Joh is popping over, and tomorrow James. At last, visitors!

My brother is having a very exciting day today, he has completed on his own house along the coast in Eastbourne and is now, I hope, settling down to the traditional fish and chips amongst his own set of boxes, hunting frantically for a fork and a bottle opener. I shall have to pop over and visit soon, though I suspect allowing him a week or two of settling in would be appreciated.

So far, I admit, I haven’t hinted at much busyness. But in between the painting and the visits from friends I have been to birthdays, sat in pubs drinking beer and getting excited about Burning Man. I’ve cooked rösti for my boy with delicious bratwurst brought back from Switzerland. I’ve drunk cocktails with Jane and found a new gym, eaten Japanese takeaway with Pete, had dinner with friends and driven out to the country. It has been a lovely few weeks, but I do feel guilty for not posting for so long. I do promise to do better, dear reader, and not neglect you for so long again.

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