After our busy weekend Nick high tails it to St Vaast and I face a fortnight of life as a singleton. I plan to achieve a lot. Two forthcoming weekend activities have shaped my decision to stay put, even though I have not been to France since the end of August. I hope to make some progress with shell curation, and I have a backlog of blogs to write. I’m going to make Piccalilli, spiced pears for Christmas, pear chutney. I make two batches of fish cakes, green and red Thai, for forthcoming entertaining. On the first weekend I take in a Conch. Soc. meeting, staying at Godalming to have some Perryman time before they fly out to South Africa.
With the second weekend looming I finally manage to get outside to get through tasks I want completed before going out to France to join Nick. After the success of the parrot tulips I bought last autumn, I have ordered some more, also packs of mixed Iris reticulata. There are lots of lovely coloured cyclamen on sale at Homebase, so I buy some polystyrene trays of plants for the wooden plant troughs. They look really good along the side passage.
I end up working against the clock because early Friday afternoon I must lock up the house and make for Whitchurch Canonicorum where the Bonhays Meditation Retreat Centre is hidden away. I have booked a place on Pam Steele’s weekend retreat. It is going to be a time of yoga, meditation, calm and delicious vegetarian food. Evie the Cook provides such tasty food with her use of spices. There is a small swimming pool and I find the whole experience thoroughly restful and undemanding. If I don’t come home feeling entirely at one with everything then it is entirely my own fault 😉
When I leave Bonhays at 4 on Sunday I must drive back to the Old Workshop to prepare to receive my two sons, a friend and two grandaughters who have had a weekend of climbing. We share a large chicken hotpot before the men head off leaving a mountains of dirty dishes, and the girls and me to get our acts together so we can get up early on Monday ready for Eamonn who will drive us to Poole ferry terminal. We enjoy the ritual of Lucy Micklethwait’s art books on the waterbed. (We still have two of the original four left after Dan has reversed over a bag of uneaten picnic, a carton of orange juice and books for the girls to enjoy whilst they waited their turn at the rock-face!) I settle them then scuttle round so that all we need to do is get up and dressed for the off. It is the midnight hour before everything is done.