With midsummer here at last, I’ve been wondering if we have been touched by a bit of that good old midsummer magic of late. Don’t worry we weren’t last seen dancing naked at dawn around a stone circle or joining a load of druids on a pilgrimage to mark the summer solstice. (Although, Jerry swears he was on the 18:23 from Waterloo with Druid Arthur Uther Pendragon on Friday night). No, nothing all ‘Glasto’ drastic as that. However, trundling along the parish boundaries in an ancient village church tradition to bless the fields and the beauty of our little patch of countryside, I couldn’t help thinking that perhaps Jerry and I had gone native, dear Reader. In a month or two, it will be the anniversary of our first year here and it is difficult to imagine us anywhere else these days.
I no longer miss the hustle and bustle of town and seem to have found a perfect home amongst the buttercups and sheep poo. I’ve even caught myself trampling the bridleways in search of a forager’s favourite, elderflower, in order to make a vat of cordial and elderflower vodka and reading bee keeping books after watching one of the villager’s harvesting honey straight from the comb. Primrose has fallen truly, madly, deeply in love with ponies – Jerry is thrilled as he thinks that this means boys are firmly off the agenda till she’s at least 35. Poppy, on a recent trip to town, was terrified of the traffic and demanded to be taken home instantly to her cottage and Jerry, well Jerry has taken to brewing his own beer.
It all started with a brewery tour. Within days, all the kit started arriving in Amazon packages – hydrometers, valves, barrels, bottles, beer sugar, bottle capper……I could go on! The barrel was living upstairs during the big ‘ferment’. I was slightly concerned when one of our neighbours recounted a story of one of his barrels blowing up in the cellar. Something for me to lie awake worrying about whilst listening to beer bubbling away in the wee small hours of the morning in the room next to us, dear Reader. Still, there it stayed until one night, rushing in from work at 11pm, Jerry (rather excitedly it has to be said) announced that he had to wash a load of bottles and decant his ‘brew’. This was dutifully done before he promptly wished his beer a good night and tucked all the bottles up in their little cellar bed. The next two weeks of waiting before the first pint can be drunk will be agonising for him!
See, dear Reader, things are definitely different. Good different. Better. We’re all doing things we never imagined we’d do and loving it. In a recent little interview for The Guardian on moving from the Big Smoke to the countryside with the lovely Bee from Life After London, I was describing all the capers that have come our way and the interviewer piped up “Sounds like you’re more Tom and Barbara these days than Margot and Jerry!” Definitely not! I’m pretty sure that Tom and Barbara didn’t have to purchase a coffee machine because daily lattés are a necessity and I am positive that Barbara would be appalled at my inability to grow a single vegetable as yet. Although, she might well give me a pat on the back for my elderflower and lemon verbena cordial!
Who knows what other adventures we have in store before the year is out? I was last heard talking about making cheese after a recent visit to the wonderful home of Tunworth cheese. I really ought to know better than to make plans after a few gins. Perhaps it is that midsummer magic or maybe I’ve finally realised (and at the risk of sounding horribly twee)…..it’s the simple things in life that really are the best, isn’t it, dear Reader?
it’s so lovely reading about how well you have all settled in. Feels like only yesterday we sat in Barnes having a natter before you made the leap and now look at you! I definitely think you should take on making cheese…with all that time you have on your hands!!! Keep up the good work and keep amusing us all with your brilliant blog.
I am so jolly pleased that I met you Bee – it has been so lovely getting to know you and your lovely family. Thank you a million times over xx
Haha, I think the *best* plans are made after a few gins, so I’d go for that cheese making! I hope that the beer works out well after all that waiting…
Huge thanks for joining up with The Good Things this week, I’ve really enjoyed your writing today 🙂
Thanks so much for reading and letting me join up with your linky. Lovely to have a linky that celebrates #thegoodthings in life. Perhaps I might just have a go at that cheese making…!!
Great story. It’s always lovely to hear about people who have moved to the countryside and not regretted it for a second! I loved living in London but nothing would draw me back now…
It’s funny isn’t it? I really loved living in London and thought I would really miss lots of things. Now, I feel like a tourist when I go back and can’t wait to be back trampling the lanes and listening to the silence! Thanks so much for commenting x
Your words make me happy!
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So glad you’ve enjoyed the first year – now only another 29 till you’re really part of the country!
Quite right Sue! Thanks so much for reading and commenting x
I came here via The Good Things – I love your writing and the cordial sounds great!
Ooh you’ve made my day! Thank you so much for reading and coming over to comment x #thegoodthings
I love the part where you said ‘found a perfect home amongst the buttercups and sheep poo’ it is nice to hear that you are settled. I am a new reader and I might have need to read your past post. I want to say this too in the future. I have been where we are for the longest time and I am still not finding it a home or maybe it is a home I just am not recognizing it. Your post is nice to read. Self sufficient life is my dream! #pocolo
My other half is going through a beer brewing stage at the moment. It’s not just the barrels that explode…..one of the decanted bottles exploded in our airing cupboard, what a sticky mess that was! #pocolo
It turned a year for us last week here in good old Somerset – and it sounds like you and I are now leading parallel lives! I hope you are enjoying your countryside as much as we are ours. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo 🙂 x
London is so yesterday isn’t it. Sod that quote “if you are tired of London you are tired of life” – I think country living is the heart of life. Your interview for the Guardian sounds VERY interesting.
I hear ya on needing daily coffee tick. I have a LOVELY veg patch in the garden and not a clue what to do with it ha!
Love your writing style. Very rhythmical read.
Thanks for sharing #SummerSolstice.
Oh goodness and now I’m all envious. We were going to move to the country around 8 years ago but things didn’t go to plan and we decided against it. But now our girls are in secondary school, it looks as though it will NEVER happen. Your lifestyle sounds idyllic….the buttercups, lack of traffic and even the elderflower cordial! My husband also wants to brew his own beer lol!
Hampshire is the best, lived here all my life and love it! the simply things in life are the best! be happy and take time to smell the roses and listen to the silence.
I do really love it here and couldn’t imagine being anywhere else now. Funny isn’t it? Thanks so much for coming over and leaving me a little message.