We’ve felt a bit like Mecca these past weeks with a succession of ‘pilgrims’ fetching up at our establishment. Latest in the line of travellers are Jenny and Lesley who have come to France for a week with a stop-over at 104 at the beginning and end of their sojourn. I am lately back from England when they arrive at our house having spent 3 nights in Carnac near the Quiberon Peninsula. They are full of the rocks, the countryside, wild plants they don’t know the names of, the Madame who ran the chambres d’hote at which they stayed.
My role and pleasure is to welcome them, feed them and as it turns out, listen……… and listen again and then a bit more. Jenny is Nick’s sister and they are long-standing sparring partners when it comes to social issues, politics and above all, feminism. Nevertheless Lesley and I get a generous look-in when it comes to conversing. Whilst we have our visitors Nick is on the final stages of transporting the fully logged beech tree that he and Francois cut down earlier in the spring. All our storage allocation at the rear of the house is now full so a neat stack is built along the wall on the front drive. It is a pretty neat and regular structure but I learn that Nick has some fancier ideas for a wood-pile which he has gleaned from the award-winning book, Norwegian Wood. This is the definitive handbook on the art of chopping, stacking and drying wood in the Scandinavian way. He’d better get on with his project because where the wood is stacked at the moment the agapanthus plants, which have seeded themselves along the wall of our property are shielded from the sun and unless they receive some good light and sunshine I fear they may not flower this summer and they will be much missed.