Yesterday evening Jackie borrowed the camera to photograph poppy heads. This morning we worked on cropping the images.
Jackie then drove us to Kilmington, near Axminster in Devon, and back. Our friends Luci and Wolf are spending a week in a holiday cottage there. This is The Linhay off Whitford Road. It is a beautifully restored and tastefully presented former milking shed, and the owners, who live next door at Oxenlears, are most considerate.
The house is perched on a hillside overlooking an idyllic, sheep-dotted, valley, the pastoral quiet of which is broken only, it seems, at certain regular times.
On 17th December 2012 I described how, as I retired person, I sometimes don’t know what day it is. The same thing applies to the time of day. Such is the freedom of release from work commitments. Our friends would probably find the same uncertainty in their Devon hillside cottage, were it not for these timely clarion calls.
The most frequent is the clatter of the train crossing the valley from Lyme Regis on the hour every hour, followed by another coming from the opposite direction five minutes later. We may not have known which hour it was, but at least we knew it was something o’clock or five minutes past.
It was the sheep’s alarm that was the most insistent. Just as Luci announced that she was about to produce lunch, a clamorous bleating was set up. The black-faced creatures had, until then, spent the day huddled around a tree. They clambered or sprang to their feet and trooped eagerly, two by two, across to another field where they were being joined by cattle. Then we noticed the little white van and trailer that they were vying with their bovine companions to reach first. Whatever they were being fed was deposited on the ground without the driver having to leave his vehicle.
Presumably after the animals had had their fill, the sheep trotted back to their tree, and the cattle off to another field. Whatever they had been fed could not have matched the huge succulent chunks of juicy chicken that Luci had ‘thrown in a pot’ with mushrooms, new potatoes, carrots, and a tasty sauce for us. Jackie wondered whether she might be at risk of overdosing on carrots when we had carrot cake with strawberries to follow. Both were delicious so she took a chance. Luci and I drank a 2013 Wolf Blass red wine, and Jackie drank Hoegaarden. Wolf’s choice was fruit juice.
As usual, we all enjoyed each other’s company. Cheese and onion sandwiches were quite sufficient for Jackie and me when we returned home.
P.S. I am indebted to Barrie Haynes for pointing out that trains do not run from Lyme Regis any more