The Good Life – Baker, Gardener, Bird watcher – Breathe

Six weeks since we moved house and a day of non-stop rain which allows me to abandon the gardening and write, albeit a blog. I have still to get back to the next stage of editing. My new book needs further work, maybe a lot more work.

What I love about our new house are the different views from every room. It’s unusual for a house to have great views in every direction and there are so many windows in this house. What I suspect used to be a village green, but is now a field, surrounded by old and new cottages lies to the west; our nearest neighbour’s garden with it’s pristine, weed free veg’ plot to the north, then our own large, unkempt field beyond, The towering trees and bank of honesty and primroses to the south, the old school well at the back door, while the front looks out onto a hot rather tropical area.

I have become a twitcher, spending hours watching the birds at our bird feeder with my binoculars and bird guide beside me. Today, we drove to the farm shop for extra supplies and the starlings descended as soon as the feeders were topped up. It was like a scene from The Birds as they fought each other, with the sparrows, blue tits and blackbirds pecking at the food the starlings were tossing around the feeder in their haste to devour the food. I haven’t mentioned the pied wagtails and gold finches. These are my favourite visitors.

I am researching Asparagus recipes we hope to begin plucking our crop this week. There are extensive options thank goodness. I am struggling more with the rhubarb. So far I have made rhubarb fool, rhubarb crumble and rhubarb sponge which turned out more like rhubarb bread. I need a larger freezer to store stewed rhubarb (which my husband hates) but which I am learning to love and all the other produce we hope to harvest.

Moving here is like moving to a new life. I wonder what will remain of the old one. There are new people to meet, with everyone in lockdown, this has been impossible. However, our builder has found a lady nearby who is could be a walking buddy. Husbands with dicky hips and legs have constrained us both. It’s like being set up on a blind date. I am resisting my granddaughters’ heartfelt pleas for a dog. I am a fair weather walker. Somehow I don’t think I am going to win the argument.

Friday is my busy day, My job is to keep our daughter’s barn gardens in trim ready for new guests, change over plant pots, pick up the children from school and feed them. This requires an afternoon of baking. They demand cakes as well as both meaty food and vegetarian food before their swimming lessons. Thank goodness for two slow cookers to deal with different meal times as well. Children eat at 3.45, their mother grabs a bite before heading off with first child at 4.15, father arrives for food at 5.45 before heading off with second child at 6.00. It makes my head spin. By 6.30, I am exhausted but so pleased I can help out.

Moving to an old school made me realise that it was probably also a polling station (I must research this) until it closed in the 1980s. Now the village hall, a green tin hut, does the job. Somehow I doubt they got many voters last Thursday, the village is tiny, many people like us will have opted for a postal vote in the pandemic, and the turn-out was low. I was disappointed not to be able to vote for my daughter who was standing in the next village for the Greens. She did well, coming second. Returning to the school, if it was a polling station, I think back to just after the first world war when so many men and women could vote for the first time. I wonder how they felt. Being such a rural area, I’m guessing they tended to follow tradition and vote for those who controlled their wages. The last great rebellion in Norfolk, Kett’s Rebellion in the reign of Edward VI, did not end well.

Next week, the sun is due to shine. I wonder when I will get back to editing?

About Rosemary Noble

Writer, author, amateur historian and traveller
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1 Response to The Good Life – Baker, Gardener, Bird watcher – Breathe

  1. Angela Petch says:

    Your enthusiasm for your new life shines through your blog. I am quite sure that before long, a book on some Norfolk uprising or political intrigue will begin its creation. So lovely that you can help with your family. Aren’t we lucky to have a family we love? Continue to enjoy!

    Like

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