Monday, June 9, 2008

An English summer's day

Today has been a perfect summer's day. I consulted the Book of Days I keep on the study windowsill and was informed that "An English summer is three fine days and a thunderstorm." On Saturday we had the storm. Hailstones the size of grapes rained down in Kingsbridge - the town turned white with ice and Fore Street became a raging torrent as the hailstones melted and the water ran downhill to the top of the creek. But by the evening the sun was shining again. I am hoping that we have had the thunderstorm and are now enjoying the three fine days .....

The rose that scrambles over the woodstore is now in full bloom and shedding its petals on me like sweetly scented confetti when I water the old stone trough of geraniums below. It is highly fragrant too, but has wickedly sharp thorns and is very vigorous. I have to keep it well pruned, or it tries to invade the gazebo above and twine itself into the hair of unsuspecting diners when we lunch al fresco!

On these warm days, the house stays beautifully cool, thanks to the thick cob walls and cool slate floors. The hall floor is quite beautiful - I've never seen such a beautiful old floor. I think it must have been laid by the gentleman who improved the property back in 1838. I can be exact about the date as he left a letter hidden in the chimney breast for future generations to discover - in which he refers to "our new young queen, Victoria, a young lady of great promise."

Again consulting my Book of Days I discover that the Roman Emperor Nero was born on June 9th AD 68 and that he shares his birthday with Cole Porter and Johnny Depp (although of course they are considerably younger than him!!) Today is also the feast day of St Columba, the 6th-century Irish missionary who founded a monastery on the Scottish Island of Iona.

Finally, having carefully omitted to write about Amy and Ben in this post, I shall say that I spent some time yesterday afternoon painting Ben. I don't normally paint direct from photographs, but was enchanted by the shot of Ben carrying his teddy that Jack managed to take during our DevonBears photoshoot. So here it is .....

5 comments:

Elizabethd said...

What a gorgeous rose. Is it Rambling Rector, I wonder?

ChrisH said...

I have a case of hall envy - your's is beautiful!

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Hall and rose envy here . . . but especially hall envy and how lovely to find a letter from a previous owner of long ago . . . be interested to hear what it said in full . . .sorry being nosey!

Sally's Chateau said...

One of my favourite spots in the UK, sounds like your weather is glorious. Love your hallway.

CAMILLA said...

What a beautiful Hall, lovely pictures, and love the Rose.

xx

Blog Widget by LinkWithin