Now we are six!


“Nanny, why do you have to go travelling round the world?” half way on, half way off the chair, swinging a leg, spooning porridge and twirling the spoon…. It was more a complaint than a question…. me to Ollie, “why do YOU think?” “because you are in love with the world”, said with daggers!

A bit of a heart stopper.

It’s 5.25am at Heathrow, with a little time to mull over these last two weeks during which I have been home to the arms of loving friends and the cushioning beauty of the green green Devon landscape. Such a perfect time to take a break as it turns out, with all sorts of things falling unexpectedly into place.

The familiar walk up Totnes High Street and delicious bumpings into, with very rewarding exclamations of surprise as I tell snippets of news.
A gorgeous piece of timing was to go looking for a Matt Harvey poem (our local famous and hilarious poet) about the subjunctive, in the book shop the other afternoon. “he’s in the new Leechwell Gardens unveiling the sculptures” (a commission by our local and superb sculptress/dear friend of many years). So off at a trot and I am there just in time to sidle up to a very surprised Rosey Musgrave, just as Matt’s finishing off the slugs and whipping off the veil!!! MARVELLOUS!!!

Similar in it’s timing was the ease of accompanying a very talented former piano pupil, Fergus and Mum, Sheena to a pre-audition at Wells Cathedral School, where he has been offered an oboe ‘specialist’ full audition next term. At only 11 years old he is already playing an instrument renowned for it’s difficulty with unusual and natural flair. It was a wonderful day and a joy to be such an intimate part of this important event. The whole family has been a very precious part of my life since they returned from Russia over ten years ago, weaving piano lessons, major life lessons and friendship in a tapestry that keeps on unfurling in extraordinary ways. Bless you all.

And then the joy of seeing all the women in my women’s group and snuggling up with them in front of the fire, not just once, but two Wednesday’s in a row! plus a warm cosy bed for the night with Beverley and Ian… Very handy thank you!

Art at Tristford and dinner with Jeff and Anne-Marie; tea with John and Lise; bumping into Ben-Dr-Bike; various poppings in and out of my house where Wendy and Andrew are making such a homely nest; lunch with Sheila …. my lovely son, Tom, coming down from Bristol for the day, flushed with the success of his first head-chef post and showing me his stunning menu…. holding hands across the table and glowing at each other in one of those special rare mother-son moments with a capital M! … the list goes on.

3 lovely days with Ruth and Ollie… The girlie fun of shopping together for winter clothes!
Ruth has the most wonderful taste and incredible shopping-stamina and it gives me such pleasure to see her looking so warm and stylish! (why oh why did I never quite get the hang of this special life skill?!)

Then all of a sudden we are quickly hugging each other goodbye on the bus and that hot prick in my eyes and they’re gone and I’m on my way again.

How great to touch base and know that Totnes, family and friends are home: the solid ground from which I can spread my wings and to which I can return, knowing for sure that they will be there still, whenever I touch down again.

One lovely alpha and omega moment in Exeter. Somewhere on my travels in Poland I needed just one tomato for my routine cheese and tomato bread roll. The stall holder gave it to me with a smile. Ditto on Exeter food market. Generosity IS still alive and well, and not just something rather distant and far-fetched. Very cheering and a counter to some of the disquieting rudeness that has become so much the ‘norm’ and that I was saddened/irritated to witness on the train in London.

Last night, a lovely restful evening in front of the fire with Glen while Phil played badminton in Bognor, a few hours in their comfy spare bed and at 4am this morning a slightly bleary ride to the airport. (thank you both so much) Warsaw then Krakow and then…..

Well, I am thinking Hungary, winter, roaring log fires and hot mulled wine… Any advances?!
(It’s a nice sunny, refreshing 5 degrees in Warsaw)


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