Sunday, 19 May 2013

Home and away

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.

28 comments:

  1. What a superb picture of a hedge and of the oak behind it, Elizabeth. So redolent of these islands. Not so sure about the tulips: they look like something that might have done for Edward II, (though as that episode is thought to be Marlowe's fiction, you can sleep easily). Yes, lovely to go, lovely to come back and always glorious to sleep again in ones bed and listen to Big Ben at midnight as the light goes off.

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    1. I do love the oak and the hawthorn too! Think the tulips are a bit bendy for any danger.

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  2. Love the header photo . . . the hills . . . and the green . . . the fence line vine . . . more green . . . ahhhh . . . beautiful!
    Wonderful to be away . . . and enjoy . . . but the coming home again . . . the best . . . with springtime in blossom and bloom . . .

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    1. We have just had a few days in Munich and Salzburg which were another form of lovely to be away. Just need the sun to shine now that we are home!

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  3. home to the hills again - glorious view. Why does the return of swallows make me feel wistfully sad? Spring is doing a 100 metre dash since being late off the starting line

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    1. I sort of understand what you mean about the swallows but there is no doubt that if they had not returned I would have been more than wistfully sad. It seems to be the way in which we measure the return of spring.

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  4. Oh yes, to all that you wrote! Life is so, so rich and I am glad you had a time when that feeling could come through, many times actually.

    I am both encouraged and also more concerned that you have seen your swallows and we haven't seen ours yet. It seems so late. I can't imagine a summer without them over our fields and in our skies, so will just have to keep my fingers crossed, too.

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  5. Wow - spring is so amazing. it seems no time since you were posting pictures of snow and now everything is lush and colourful!

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    1. It has rather got carried away with spring now. We just need some sunshine as well as the longer days!

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  6. So pleased you had a good time in Devon with your family. Gorgeous tulips and I know what you mean about the ground elder and nettles....no binweed for us but lots of hairy bittercress....grrrr.

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    1. I could send you some bindweed if you are feeling the lack!

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  7. Glad you had a good time away in Devon. I also gave up a demanding job (with long hours) and I'm grateful my lifestyle now gives me much more time to spend with my family. Lovely hearing about the swallows, my favourite bird. I hope they nest in the pigsty again.

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    1. The swallows are definitely nesting in the stone pigsties again! I have been watching them whizz in and out through the low doorway. yes!

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  8. I do like your new header. You are right on both counts . . going away and coming home both feel so good. I will wager (not that I am a betting person) that in one short week there was a marked change in your garden. I am sad for our swallows this year, for they have returned to no home, as our new neighbours saw fit to knock down the little shed where they raised their babies for years.

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    1. What a strange thing to do, to destroy the shed. Did they know the swallows used it to nest?

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  9. There is nothing like coming home after time away even if the bind weed is rampant and the ground elder is reaching for the sky!

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    1. You are right. And both are indeed reaching for the sky!

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  10. You asked what I am like with bindweed. Very good actually. However, I will pull everything out of the bed if necessary to get all the bindweed out. I challenge myself to get the longest root in one piece that I can.

    Yes, it is nice to go away, but I always enjoy coming home. Tea doesn't taste the same anywhere else!

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    1. Come and bindweed hunt here any day Jane!

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  11. You paint such a warm and beautiful picture of home, near or otherwise; love the traces of belongingness in this write-up.

    The tulips look so very regal; looking forward to seeing more pictures of your spring garden.

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  12. Hello Elizabeth - I have a feeling we have blogged before as your blog address was familiar
    when I read through Tom Stephensons list. Nice to meet you anyway. I love your photographs
    and I smiled at the thought of the so called weeds taking over parts of your garden. It is
    buttercups here. I content myself with the knowledge that Ronald Blythe, whose books I love,
    always leaves buttercups and red campion in his garden as he says they give his garden the
    'Giverny effect' - so that is the excuse I use. I shall put you on my side bar and do hope you
    will call over and see me.

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    1. Hi Weaver, yes indeed, I have come across your blog before. It is always good to find people again.

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  13. As a general philosophy for life your concentrating on the tulips rather than the bindweed sounds just right !

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    1. I have to work hard at it sometimes!

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  14. Much, much better to focus on tulips than ground elder - and they do look lovely, and so welcoming for you. And out swallows are back too, though if they have any sense at all they'll zoom somewhere warmer fairly quickly...

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    1. We have had a lovely day today. Hope the swallows are enjoying it!

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