‘The Matrix’, last night’s television film, was beyond me. I lasted nearly two hours before giving up and going to bed. Two others of the assembled company had had seven attempts between them to understand it, and never finished it. Becky managed to see it through this time.
On this beautiful, sunny morning, balmy enough to hoodwink the birds into thinking winter had been skipped this year, I took yesterday’s walk alone, and in an anticlockwise direction. The recent gales have felled or shattered more of the forest trees, and, indeed, one in our garden is looking precarious enough to have been taped off.
Alongside perhaps the most dangerously narrow and winding section of the road through the village a gravelled footpath is separated from the tarmac by a living fence. Clearly intended to make the stretch safer for pedestrians, apart from me, Becky and Ian, I have only ever seen Anne, an elderly resident, and strings of ponies use it. Perhaps this is because at times it is difficult to find the gravel under layers of mud and piles of horse manure. One of the uprights of this barrier is currently sporting fungal florets that would probably have excited Tess.
Cattle in the field that lies beside the road leading from the village green to Bull Lane are looking remarkably well-fed. The slow pace of their existence was brought home to me as the sun glinted on the warm clouds of their breath, each one being separated from the next for what seemed a long enough period for rigor mortis to set in.
A smoke-free bonfire was being tended just off Bull Lane.
For lunch we drove in convoy to West End for lunch at Elizabeth’s, Ian, Becky and Flo following Jackie and me. Chris, Frances, Fiona, Paul, James, Mum, Danni, and Andy were all there. As we collapsed in the sitting room after enjoying a splendid buffet lunch, teas and coffees were produced by Danni, and Paul took a family photo with a timed shutter release. Elizabeth and Andy were both in the picture, but had to be sacrificed for aesthetic reasons. It is notoriously difficult to produce a group photograph where no-one is blinking, pulling a silly face, or obviously totally unprepared. Paul took two shots. Of the two this was the one where most of the family were looking somewhere near their best.
One of Jackie’s stoups ( a cross between stew and soup) was enjoyed by the others this evening. Flo and I were still replete from our lunch, and therefore abstained.