When we got back to Dorset after spending Christmas and New Year in France we found a large Ikea sack, full of mail, to open. Before our return my great niece had done an interim count before our final tally had accumulated and counted seventy items. There are rather more when we pick up the envelopes and various items of bumph from the door mat and add that haul of paper to the bag Cerys has filled. It is actually a great pleasure to sit down and open all your Christmas cards in one go. Nick and I opened, read and then laid our cards aside, making one small pile of cards that would require action. By and large these were cards from friends who we had not managed to see during the previous year, or who were friends to whom we owed a visit. One such was our dear artist friend, H. “Let’s drive down and see her” said Nick. We ‘phoned her up and fixed a date.
H lives in a small house which is one of several self-contained residences derived from a larger outbuilding (stables?) on estate where there is a large manor-type house which was built at the beginning of the 19th century in Tudor-Gothic style.
The extensive parkland boasts a magnificent Cupressus macrocarpa of which H has a wonderful view from her lounge. She serves us good coffee and very superior biscuits and we catch up on our news. We are booked to have lunch at The Jack in the Green which is just along the road.
Before we set off she allows us a glimpse of her studio with the two canvasses on easels which have some charcoaled outlines in readiness for the two paintings of our French house that she intends.
Lunch is very superior too. We each choose a plate from their Pub Grub listing. H goes for triple Bangers and Mash, Nick chooses a Mutton and Caper suet pudding and I go for Smoked Confit of Duck Leg. It really has been good to catch up H again, she is a wonderful octogenarian companion.