Thursday, March 23, 2006


I was looking out the window to admire my papyrus and the first curled leaves of water lily breaking the surface - so I had to Google the Lady of Shallot didn't I? I was magically transported to Blackdown, I could smell the air, look out over Lurgashall and the smaller villages, remembering the younger Felix's hilarity at their names - LIckfold, Little Diddling...Much Diddling oh ha ha ha!

Sometimes I am just so homesick I could cry.

Noar Hill too, when I was living in Selborne. I would stop work at lunch and walk through the garden and up through the wheatfields to hear the larks, then across the meadow, into the woods proper, over the medieval chalk pits to the beech hangar. I knew that hill.

Half the trouble is that I have such a romantic view of England, since I was raised in Australia. It was quite a shock when I came to London wet behind the ears and didn't slip easily into the world I had read about, or the world I remembered as a child of five - picnicing on the moors with fog swirling around us and my mother pumping a little primus stove, the wonderful sun-dazzled prospect of the rock pools at Saltcoats with Arran so tantalising across the water, the glories of the Applegarth in Guisborough. I just don't remember the greyness and austerity which drove my parents to the land of Oz.

Thank goodness I still have June, and Abbotsbury. She will see the bluebells for me.


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