Today I explored outward from Salisbury; only a mile or so, on a dulled afternoon. Most of the houses are bog-suburb-council-house-bungalow, with a few oldies still wedged in among.
Eking out brick with flint is a real Wiltshire ploy; pity about the tactless street furniture.
The basic cottage underneath is probably old, but the excessive grooming makes it look like something from a film lot – as if it is thatched with plastic rather than reed or straw.
The church also shows a traditional mixture of materials – fairly recent by church standards, but may be sitting on older foundations. I gave a black mark because it was locked at 2.30 pm – but maybe the local vandals are chronic.
Then this rather forbidding building. I would be hard put to say why it would look completely alien in my own home territory – something to do with the colour of the brick, and perhaps the roof line. Judging by the numerous revisions, this one has been around for a while.
This peach of the vernacular shows classic flint chequerwork in its lower portion; not sure if the dressed stones are very dirty chalk or, as I suspect, greensand (of sentimental memory).
How do you know you have knitted half a ball of wool when you have no accurate scales? Like this …
I wandered into town looking for such comestibles as were necessary for dinner. Being perverse, charity shops were my first destinations, to pick out a couple of books – standbys in this bookless house.
With even greater perversity, the Hunt for the Teapot took over the morning. Charity shops failed me on this one. A fearfully cute little pot I found in one place must, on closer inspection, have been given to the charity shop because, at any attempt to use it, the lid would have dropped out and showered the user with scalding tea. The Hunt took me to supermarkets, cheap shops, ironmongers and at last an expensive cookware shop; where I found a gratifying bargain and concluded the Hunt.
The teapot, though not glamorous in any way, asserted its symbolic value as soon as I got back. And I am already becoming intimate with the tablecloth.
After a long and busy day, involving public transport (including taking the same bus twice), signatures, a trolley full of gubbins, sunshine (thank goodness), huge sausages for lunch, and two kind people, I have come to rest in an attic.
This is part of the route I walked this afternoon.
A river of a nondescript but pleasing kind, rather full thanks to our recent downpours:
A steepish downhill bit, feeling quite aerial above the low roadway:
And a view they don’t put on the postcards:
The experiment has begun.
Well there we were, me at the kitchen table and Fluffers underneath it. I propped my elbows in a state of inaction, while Fluffers steadily pulled out her feathers.
I discovered a curious parallel urge to pull my own eyebrows out. So far I have resisted (mostly).
… and a law unto itself. Having given mine over to the acquisition of facts, academic analysis, and sleeplessness, the arrival of a poem was unexpected. It is always fascinating to see what turns up; on this occasion there is a slightly inverted relationship to the day thoughts, as the poem is about going to sleep, but the reproachful tone is a considerable surprise.
There are a lot of people re-reading their Le Guin at the moment, and I am one of them.
Owing to my liking for frozen explorers, and The worst journey in the world, this is my favourite. Though there were distrait moments when I read the same page six times.
… which is enough for a person of a certain age, especially when quite a few of them were up hill (and equally painfully, down hill) even with some youthful assistance in the traction department.
Thus sausage and lentil soup among the distinctly original, massive and wonky half-timbering was quite a Cunning Plan, which fortified us for the main Cunning Plan. I approve automatically of any food establishment which runs its own bring-and-share book shelf, though I would probably eschew most of these titles.