24 October 2008


It has been windy and wet for days. The air had been heavy with the departure of a dear friend, spouse, parent and sibling. But it lifted today for the farewell. Bellingham mourned together and quietly. 

12 October 2008

Belated sun

Long time no write. It appears that some of the stories I have been telling have caused one or two of their protagonists  a degree of bother. My use of first initials was intended to protect their identities, but in England's most thinly populated county there are not many of us and recognition is easy. Sorry! I never meant to compromise anybody. I will try to be more discreet, either by using better disguises or, in the last resort, by telling fewer stories involving people; this, I have to say, would be a pity.  

Today's sunny morning is a balm for the eye, but it is hard to accept it with unmixed gratitude. Where was the sun in the summer, when we could have done so much with it? All summer K's barbecue languished in a shed unlit, and the lunches cooked on a fire by the river remained a fading memory of the past. 

Moreover, while I was away in Bolivia this part of Northumberland experienced its worst rain for over 60 years. The river grew to unimagined proportions, flooding the field almost to its middle. K worried that Fluffy might run down his usual route and find himself carried off by the powerful current. She took a couple of pictures to show me. It looks threatening, but even at three times its normal level the river came nowhere near the house. We are safe! The proximity of the river had been a major worry when we were considering this house, but at the time we consulted every local we knew, and their answers were unequivocal: people knew how to build a house in those days, and where. That house has not flooded in living memory, and it is not going to flood now. The worst rainfall in 60 years has proved them right.