Friday, 27 April 2018

Books, Guests & Springtime

Spring has sprung with the birds singing and the flowers displaying their vibrant colours everywhere. The bluebells are appearing in odd corners around the farm though the ones in the woods are a little slower in laying out their carpet of madonna blue.
The most important event proving that winter is over is the cows going out into the fields to graze, always a momentous day & we all try to be there to see the ladies perform their dance of freedom...yipee, we're out in a field and can run and jump for ten minutes before settling down to the serious business of eating fresh grass!
The last couple of weeks have been somewhat chaotic as I'v had decorators in sprucing up the stairwell, dining-room and hallway in the farmhouse and also giving a fresh coat of paint in the kitchen/sitting-room, hallway and main bedroom in the holiday cottage. It was all finished just hours before guests arrived to stay in the cottage.
Putting everything back in the cottage was not so bad but in the house where we had to take many hundreds of books off shelves and pack them in boxes as well as take down too many pictures and of course move furniture it is taking much longer. The books are the worst (we have an insatiable appetite for them and cannot stop ourselves acquiring more) but it is an opportunity to reduce the number...am I ever going to read D. H. Lawrence or the Game of Thrones series again? So a serious clear-out has taken place, again in fact, as last year we got rid of abour 36 boxes of books, but there were still many more to go! So this time I have been ruthless, if it has not been read for over 20 years it goes! (but of course there always exceptions to be made...the Farmer follows in the wake of my chucking-out & rescues many!). Of course sentiment plays a large part in all this, books that belonged to my grandmother such as the complete set of 1920's 'Anne of Green Gables' series, enormous leather-bound volumes of 'Bunyan's Choice Works' & ancient family bibles, atlases, etc. that have been handed down over the generations have to stay as do dog-eared early editions of Baden-Powell's 'Scouting for Boys' & 'Rovering to Success' (the Farmer is a Queen's Scout) & of course no home should be without Victorian natural history books with their lovely illustrations and books such as 'Pollen Analysis' or 'Rats, Lice & Men'(you can guess the Farmer's interests) although they are never looked at from one year's end to the next.
But as Anthony Powell so truly said, 'Books do furnish a room'.

We have some delightful returnee-guests in the cottage for the next fortnight, a couple from Munich who impress us hugely by travelling to our far corner of Wales by public transport. They flew from Munich to London and then spent hours on trains and buses and finally walking the last 1/2 mile to the farm. (We do offer to meet them at the bus-stop but they prefer to walk.) They are a fine example of how to travel light, with only a small rucksack each containing all they need for two weeks away from home. Having been here last year they are familiar with how the public transport system works in west Wales and plan their days accordingly. Again an example to the rest of us who just hop in the car which is so much the easier option especially when time is of the essence.


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