Hi, dear readers - I so want to respond to the kind posts, but don't know how,and am still waiting for the senior daughter to ring and coach me - I am a total Luddite.
Yesterday was a total low point and a total washout! Now - today is a different matter altogether. It is pleasant, breezy, blue skies, and no church service in the village this weekend.
I awoke early - aware of being stared at - on the left, a pair of golden eyes with a black centre,to my right, a pair of rich treacle coloured eyes, both absolutely transfixed on my face. How I love my dogs - implicit in this unwavering stare was the message that as yesterday was a total washout as far as dog walking was concerned, would I please now arise and oblige. Oh, OK. There is a symbiotic relationship between my dogs and myself - we are able to intuit each others needs and intentions. I am so blessed - they are the cornerstone of my existence and I love them unconditionally. Even when I have to get up at 6.30 am on a Sunday morning.
By the time that I had let them out, fed them. the sheep. the cat, bathed myself and dressed, they had waited long enough I was told.
Off we set - it was a beautiful morning, fresh, breezy, pale blue sky with scudding cotton wool clouds, the dogs flying across the lawn, snarling, barking, turning somersaults in their unallayed joy, racing along the path towards the gate in to the front garden, little sods! Through the five-bar gate into the lane, across the bridge by the ford and away. I could feel the early morning sun on my back, and I started to unfurl. It really does not take long to feel that life has something to offer after all.
It really is a corner of paradise here. I have to keep telling myself to pull myself together, because many would give their eyeteeth to have this and notwithstanding all the crap in my life I have to pinch myself sometimes, because it is a gift.
We climb the track above the house, Billy races on ahead, and Maud, the true matriarch, sniffs at the young whippersnapper and takes her time. Billy jumps up at the butterflies, and exudes youthful exuberance. I watch him, he moves like a carriage pony lifting his paws high, poetry in motion. He is a beautiful young dog and I burst with pride, because I bred him,and he is 'my boy'.
I look around me, the hawthorn berries are turning orange, before they become a rich cardinal red in a month's time, the crab apples are blushing but not yet ripe, and the purple vetch, the wild sweet pea, is climbing all over the hedgerow, everything looks glorious in the early morning sun. The lady's bedstraw, at its height a rich yellow, is going 'over' and the Queen Anne's Lace is going to seed. It reminds me so much of my childhood. I went to boarding school in 1950, at the age of 5. Not so unusual at that time, just after the war. Many of my contemporaries had lost a parent or both, and were being raised by grandparents and boarding school was a solution. My parents were divorced, and I was in the care of my maternal grandparents. One of my most enduring memories of my days at New College, Leamington Spa, was the obsession with long walks. Quite taxing for a young girl. but - we had to identify and remember every wild flower, bird, and butterfly we saw on every walk. I remember to this day everything I learnt. It was, actually, the most wonderful education. It means that every time I walk my dogs, I identify the seasons, and recognise and name everything I see. I see Buzzards wheeling in the sky, herons sailing on their prehistoric way, kingfishers, green and spotted woodpeckers, all the tits, song and missel thrushes, I am so lucky, it enriches my life. I am so grateful to have been taught about all this. Every little plant in the hedgerow, I know its name, and it is a rare joy. My husband used to call me a know-all. I know who is the richer for this knowledge.
It is a tussle trying to come to grips with a new life - but I truly think in this case, venality and disloyalty will prove to be the loser.
6 days ago