1957 December 10th

I went to the wood on the morning of December 10th, and sat on what will be a verandah, looking south over the misty valley and thought of my mother. Barbara Josephine Wright. She had done something I have never managed, conceive and give birth to a new life. A wonder to me. In the distance a train passes I imagine it through the water meadows. I know the legend of this land. It reminds me of another, the train passing at foot of mountain and neck of lake of the Hardanger vida, Norway.

The day was merged into a weekend of Bungalow Warming, apt on many levels. It galvernised the last major touches of the renovations – MJ and Jo painted Blazer the day before on the wall of the lobby, while I endlessly moved things from one place to another, and hovered. While it happened, it bought the place alive. Friends came over the weekend, paced out, so that I could talk to them and they to others. Friends from different walks of Suffolk life, Lorraine from Metfield, to Brian from Rigeons. Malcolm was the first to arrive with a Pontsetia, matching the Blazer lobby. His mother, Merl and father John, who had both been inside the previous incarnation of the building with the Bonners, the lovers of concrete and plastic. It was Johns last outing as it turned out, and may be his last taste of freedom, as he is now in some institution for elderly with memory loss and tendency to agression with a garden rake.

Standing in my kitchen I said to Virginia – ‘Here we are describing a location: You go up the hill, over two hump back bridges, and turn at the Smithy’s house, etc – and I follow you. I know this legend, I know the Smithy’s. So I feel comfortable here, more than I have done for as long as I can remember. To Tessa later, I said: I feel touched and privileged, by both your friendship and your gift. (She gave me a painting) I was walking in my wood, Saturday morning, sat in the deck chair and this thought came to me, that i was the most content I felt in my life, and this was due to a quietening of restlessness,  and comfortableness with where I am (unexpectedly and not the plan). Yes, the great oaks where there, but this ease and warmth was due to new friendships and connections with fellow souls and I thought of you, and how I wanted to see you, having not seen you for a little while because I had been too busy. So glad you bought Telfer with you too. (Yes, i’ve had enough of renovations and building and material dwelling.For now. But not forever. I am not giving up on the dream.). Sara came early with Jeremy, and we pledged to look at the moon next year, together. So plans for future connections made. Here in this modest bung. Umi came with smoked mackeral pate, gifts, and admiration for our compost toilet. All here in this modest bung.

Dave and Barry rocked up, and we set off for the ritual Wentworth on a Sunday evening. I’d protested – I’d prefer to spend the money on kitchen – but Barry would have none of it. So he blew £500 quid. The two joined their 3rd musteter, Terry, for a spot of shampoo. Mary, Terry’s wife, suffering with chest infection, but strong and fascinating all the same, she’d have to be to partner Terry, who took no hostages.

Juan, Pippa, Pippa’s brother Paul and his wife Debora, made our round table to 9. Paul and Deborah were about to set off on a Dutch barge 50 foot long, down the canals of Europe, 6 summer months of each year. Sea bass, and 8 bottles of wine, brandy, with much banter.

‘As soon as I see a bottle of red, I’ll get a tincture.
Terry’s full of alcohol remorse. HE’s signed a piece of paper, he’ll never drink again. Same as last time, and next time. Mary?She sews him up like a kipper. Yes, he reads the Guardian, but he don’t understand it. We had the best education in the world, we were left to our own devices.’ Pearls from Dave.


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