the last fran­tic weeks, and REWARD!

-- February 22nd, 2015 --
candlelit books We all know that life is a roller coaster.  Some­times on the down­ward bits of the ride, we’d like to get off, say­ing, “Actu­ally, this sort of up and down expe­ri­ence doesn’t suit me.  I’ll go for the bumper cars instead, as I’m quite able to han­dle hard knocks.  It’s the ups and downs I can’t deal with.”  But life doesn’t give us the option to change rides in the mid­dle of the fair. What life does do, how­ever, is give us, every once in awhile, a mas­sive upward tra­jec­tory, and a chance to hover at the top of the track, with a heady sense of oxy­gen and a clear view of every­thing below: where we’ve been, how high we had to climb to get where we are now. The last few weeks have seen me all over the damn ride.  But I’m on a def­i­nite high now, with my beloved “Tonight at 7.30″ get­ting glow­ing reviews on both Ama­zon US and Ama­zon UK.  Life doesn’t get much hap­pier than that. But let’s go back­wards, through this mad month of mine.  You def­i­nitely need a bit of a glimpse of last week’s half-term “hol­i­day.” How long has it been since you were in a posi­tion to spend four days in a remote coun­try dis­trict with­out inter­net, tele­vi­sion or tele­phone, unless you got in a car and drove five miles? Before you answer that, how long has it been since you were in said sit­u­a­tion, and then the car was dri­ven away by your hus­band, leav­ing you and your off­spring in the misty Devon coun­try­side in a mas­sive 18th cen­tury stone house?  I give you: The Library. library exteriorOf course in this photo we’ve just arrived, with all the clob­ber we (I) seem to require to leave home: sev­eral thick sweaters, Wellies, can­dles and can­dle­sticks, a pop­corn maker, an immer­sion blender, my spe­cial salt.  And John was there to set­tle us in, and to look quite Lord of the Manor as he did so. library interior The first day was lovely.  The sky dawned unbe­liev­ably blue.  Here is our view from the main house to the “Orangery” where Avery slept.  Yes, Mom (my mother was totally dis­be­liev­ing when I revealed this to her): we actu­ally made Avery sleep in an out­build­ing.  An unheated out­build­ing.  Hey, we brought along an elec­tric blan­ket!  And under this bright blue sky, it seemed quite rea­son­able.  Really.  It was only after John left, and the skies opened and the tem­per­a­ture dropped right down, that we realised it had been a bit mad.  Here was her “room.” orangery interior As befits an Orangery, there was an orange. orange tree At least the orig­i­nal glass ceil­ing had long-since given way and be replaced with a nor­mal roof.  Can you imag­ine the tem­per­a­ture with a glass ceil­ing? When we planned our Devon getaway…