Wednesday, 4 November 2015


The time has come. We've quite a lot planned for November, but it includes extracting ourself from Erin Mae for the winter. Yesterday was the first of what we expect to be several trips. Fortunately, because we'll be back up at the weekend, and then again a couple of weeks later, there was no need to ensure we'd cleared or cleaned everything.

We'd had more clothes than usual with us, because of our visit to Norway in May, so we started with the suitcases, the washing (clothes, bedding, towels) the instruments (guitar and piano accordion), and the kitchen stuff that isn't duplicated at home – bread maker, pressure cooker, Magimix, herbs and spices, perishables from the fridge. The tools have to come and go as well. Wasn't long before the car was filled to the gunnels. Erin Mae would snort at that, of course – what gunnels!?!

We calmed her down in the way you do with certain animals – a dark cover over the front windows – and got away just before lunch time. The journey to the New Forest was noticeable for one thing only: a decent flat white at Cherwell Valley services. I've been waiting for that for five months. We got home in the dark and unpacked just before the rain started again. Everything seemed fine at home except for a small infestation of fruit flies in our bedroom (where did they come from?), and the house soon warmed up.

Greeting us, of course, was the mountain of mail which we've been trawling through today. And on the back wall of the house, this:

Where this climber gets its energy from, I don't know. But we may well have blooms until Christmas. And then eight yards in front of the kitchen window was someone else still showing off.

It was raining, so I snapped it from the back through the window. That rose was one left to us by the previous owners, so it's at least 30 years old.

The odd thing is that it doesn't really feel like five months since we were here. But should we doubt it, a glance at the mail mountain puts us right!


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