July slips by, days of bookish lunches (what a shock to discover we had a Leaver amongst our number), bridge, supper with local friends and Pims and Croquet one Saturday afternoon at Middlezoy. Actually, forget the Croquet, or any garden game for that matter; it was an excuse to quaff some good drinks and eat some excellent barbecue food.
We have a long-standing agreement to receive Nick’s cousins at St Vaast towards the end of the month. Nick goes back to play host for a couple of days leaving me to spend another week in England before making the crossing myself. In that week there is a supper party at Canterton House where Paul, Viv, Maddy, Andrew, Lis, my sister Liz and I eat some of Viv’s delicious vegetarian food. I cannot believe it when they tell me they may be on the move. They have put in so much work on their house and the extensive hillside garden but they have always had itchy feet and another project awaits them on the other side of the valley. We take a post-supper walk round the garden and admire the variety of hydrangeas that they have in flower. My niece Lis takes a team photo.
That night I am staying with Liz who lives on the east margin of Devon. The next couple of days will be taken up with a visit to Reskadinnick to visit my dear friend Stella Maris. She is very elderly now and is a fading star. I find her comfortable in her life-long home, cared for by Rose and local support services. I sit and read to her for a couple of hours whilst Rose is taken out for a break and to do shopping. The book has been lent to me by Liz and is called ‘A Sting in the Tale’ by Dave Goulson and describes his ‘Adventures with Bumblebees’. I find the low rhythm of my own voice very calming, the whole experience quietens the body.
I leave the Camborne area not long after 4p.m. and drive to Clifford Bridge where I have friends with whom I have stayed before, when breaking the journey between my Dorset village and Cornwall. It is initially good to see them but since the Referendum things have changed, and when the conversation turns to how we all voted there is a divergence which is not easy to overcome. I am keen to ditch the payneful discussion as soon as possible and would not want to return to the subject with them.
Leaving the next day I am planning to call in and see my mother before heading for Winterborne K. I drive past the lovely farm shop at Morcombelake and notice that they have a display of willow contrivances on their forecourt. I buy some of their snails, a couple of butterflies and a large flower thing that reminds me of ‘Weeeed’ from Bill and Ben.