Whenever I visit my parents I am also returning to a village that was once home, as far as anywhere up here can be home that is. I was in my early twenties when I rented an old stone cottage there, with no central heating but several open fires. It was long before Mum and Dad moved to the village themselves. I had two Springer Spaniels for company, Algernon and Bertie. In fact that was Algie in a recent Instagram post with my brother and I, over twenty years ago! He was really large for a Springer and tri-coloured, he was stunning looking but a bit clumsy!
Walking past ‘my cottage’ brings back pretty good memories. Our latest walk with my brother, sister in law, niece and Mum made me even more thoughtful. I looked across at the cottage from the fields behind and thought how amazed my twenty year old self would have been with a crystal ball. I moved away after a few years at the cottage to teach Graphic Design in Oxfordshire never imagining for one moment that I’d be back again after six years. These days I wouldn’t dare use a crystal ball even if I could. I’m happy not knowing what the future holds but I do strongly feel that you have to dream it to achieve it. So one day I’d like something basic and simple to live in once more. Like my cottage, something you can pack up in one very small van.
This somewhat secret lake is in that village. Technically speaking you need an estate permit to walk through this part of the woodland but I don’t think they reinforce it much and it would be criminal not to share this lake with those who know it is there. I could just visualise a rustic cabin on the far shore, a wisp of smoke rising from the chimney, imagine waking up in such a tranquil spot with only nature around you?
That walk obviously made me think long and hard about simplifying because today I’ve been attacking our living room space. It was extreme spring cleaning! Every nook and crannie was hoovered, even the back, inside and underneath of the sofas! Furniture was relocated. Anything I didn’t love or wasn’t useful was removed! Small jobs finally seen to, like painting the wall where we had a radiator removed, fixing a wobbly lamp base, sorting out old magazines, finding somewhere for the dvds we can’t seem to part with just yet despite having plenty to choose from on Netflix. I am sitting in the pristine space now with the evening sun pouring in and feeling very pleased with myself but knowing that I will ache from top to toe tomorrow and probably won’t touch the back of the sofas for another year at least!
I was chuffed to bits that the Ermeline cardigan I made for my niece fitted perfectly. It’s lovely and soft yarn too so I could see it was nice and comfortable and warm. I’ve chosen two pictures that don’t show her face because it’s not my place to pop her on the internet but trust me, she’s gorgeous! She brings back so many memories of E at the same age. Actually I think little E is far too young to understand how cool that pixie hood is! Like E was, she’s not fond of hats and hoods. By the time I took the picture of her standing by Mum’s sofa the whole thing had slipped off her shoulders a bit, as clothing tends to do with little ones. I couldn’t quite get a side view pic either. I had worried about those little granny triangle inserts sticking out but they didn’t at all when it was square on her shoulders.
Meanwhile I seem to have inadvertently encouraged my sixteen year old to play loud rock music. I woke up on Saturday morning with an urge to play loud music. Lou Reed’s Dirty Boulevard was playing when he poked his head round my bedroom door and said, what on earth is this? Far from being impressed he just said, ‘he should try singing instead of just talking’. Kids these days, no taste.