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.
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.
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.
What happy memories I have of this teaching tool, the colorful yarns tracing our methods.
When we planned to spend “twelve days of Christmas” here in Connecticut, I never dreamed they would fly by like cartoon days off a calendar. From the moment we arrived…
It’s hard to believe that this time tomorrow, we’ll be approaching JFK and the Red Gate Farm part of our Christmas celebrations!
Life has been an absolute, unmitigated madhouse…
How neglectful I have been of my precious blog!
Believe me, I have cause. Let me explain.
I feel that my feet have not touched the ground in…