I love to go away and I love to come home. A week in Devon, staying with my sister, helping to look after my brother and giving my parents a hand. Being able to do this is one of the many reasons I gave up my big job. When it works, and last week was a good week, it feels very right. I know I am making a difference and to see the pleasure my brother takes in our company, to see my sister's children and stepchildren, to see my Dad smile with real happiness at a trip out he could not have taken by himself, to help my wonderful mum feel she is not alone, to chat with my sister and her partner when every one has gone to bed and to snatch an evening with my son and his wife, looking at the scan picture of their developing baby, all of these things make me feel good, make me feel like myself. But I missed Ian and I missed home and it was good to come down our drive, to see the view encircling me, to walk the garden and to sleep in my own bed with my own person.
The garden is racing along without me. There are tulips and mounds of fabulous foliage in the side garden. There are nettles and docks and bindweed and ground elder wherever I look. Today I am focussing on the tulips.
And the swallows are back. For a couple of weeks I have seen them in the skies above the field but today, for the first time, I saw one fly in and out through the door of the old stone pigsty where they have nested every year since we came. I stopped and waited for a while, hoping to see them come again, but they were wheeling high in the sky above me. I shall just have to keep my fingers crossed.