life returns to normal

-- March 4th, 2015 --
march garden

I sit here on my sofa with the thin March sun at my back, nurs­ing a cold, feel­ing a heavy, warm cat draped over my legs.  The back gar­den sports its col­or­ful expanse of spring flow­ers, the emer­gence of which took us by such sur­prise last year, our first spring in this house.  As my Amer­i­can friends, espe­cially my fam­ily in Indi­ana and Iowa, describe the con­stant snow­falls and frigid tem­per­a­tures, I’m torn between grat­i­tude at the mild beauty here, and a bit of envy of a real winter.

As always, the annoy­ance of being felled by a cold — which seems to hap­pen on a weekly basis, closely fol­low­ing the pre­cious time spent with my Home-Start fam­ily — is assuaged by the beauty of a pot of chicken soup.

chicken ankles

Just as med­i­c­i­nal as the ambrosial, golden soup is the relief of climb­ing into bed with a good book, in my cosy bed­room, from whose win­dow I can see the Thames, feath­ery in the wind.  Sur­rounded by books and lovely can­dle­light, I often wish bed­time could last for hours.

night bedroom

The fan­fare of “Tonight at 7.30″ has evolved into a gen­tler, daily plea­sure, of find­ing new reviews on Ama­zon, hav­ing friends ring me up to say they’ve seen a story about it in the dar­ling Lon­don mag­a­zine “Angels and Urchins.”  Then, too, the local book­shop rings up to say they’ve run out of copies and could I bring another stack?  Most cer­tainly.  Every morn­ing my email inbox and Face­book pages are full of reports of what’s been cooked and how it was received, and just the plea­sure of leaf­ing through the book almost as fic­tion, as in this lovely blog review.  I love the idea of Avery and me being a “dream team.”

Now that the book is a real­ity, I’ve been able to turn my atten­tion away from that con­stant respon­si­bil­ity and give some time to the other things I love, namely bell ring­ing.  Or to be pre­cise, what should be the annual — but is never such — job of Clean­ing the Bell Tower.  Hoover­ing dan­ger­ously under the bells in the bel­fry, the wind­ing and per­ilous stair­case, the car­pet under our ring­ing feet, clear­ing out the decep­tively small cup­board.  Who would ever dream that it takes quite so much clob­ber to run a ring­ing cham­ber?  Ring­ing instruc­tion book­lets, ban­dages for sore hands, thumb­tacks for spe­cial notices, back issues of “The Ring­ing World,” which is, believe it or not, a weekly report on ring­ing doings.  We made a good job of it, in the dust-motey sun­shine in church.

ringing clobber

What happy mem­o­ries I have of this teach­ing tool, the col­or­ful yarns trac­ing our methods.

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