Sunday, 15 March 2009

Oh to be in England now that March is here

It feels like the first morning of spring. The sky is clear and blue, the sun is glinting on the golden stone walls of the garden and the church bells are ringing. But this is Griggsville, where the man on number three bell is like Jonesy from Dad's Army and always several beats behind everyone else.

Clive Dunn as Corporal Jones in Dads Army

This morning, Mr Grigg threw the bedroom window open to let the day in. The songbirds were going full pelt, the jackdaws were cawing as they prepared themselves for bedding down in a suitable chimney when the time comes to nest. A dove cooed from the rooftops as the village folk ambled to the shop across the Square for the Sunday papers. A motorycle chugged by, with that reassuring, low bubbling throaty sound only British bikes make. In the distance we could hear the faint sound of drum and bass from a boy racer's car going around the one-way system.

I looked at the map of the south west yesterday, on the wall of Hugh Fearlessly-Eats-It-All's canteen in Axminster. Our village stood out as the centre of the universe, its five roads joining in a pentangle right at the point where I live.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittinstall and a bird in the hand

Mr Grigg and I often count our blessings at living in such a lovely place, surrounded by beautiful countryside and good friends. In good weather and bad, even in the mist that swirls up around this high village perhaps a little too often, this is truly the place to be. Pelly and I have discovered we have both stipulated that when we die our ashes are to be scattered on The Hill, with its beech trees, bluebells, toadstools and a view out onto the vale below and the sparkling sea beyond. It's such a beautiful, inspiring part of the world.

Today, I am knuckling down to an Open University assignment, for which I have been given an extension. By the end of the day, I hope it will be finished. And then, later in the week, I will tell you about Mr Eats-It-All's store and cafe. Oh yes, and the latest rumours that a restaurant might be opened up in these parts by Mat Follas, the winner of TV's MasterChef.

That's about it
Love Maddie x


  1. It sounds a lovely spot Maddie. So far from the wilderness up here. I find it fascinating that one very small country has such a varied landscape & village types.
    I would love to visit Hugh F-W's place is it as nice as we are led to believe? I do hope so. In fact if it isn't don't tell me!

  2. Smashing little blog. I'm another frustrated writer. some say its a bit late! What/who do you write for. I do a bit for a motorhome mag and am half way through an autobiographical work. all very boring. had a lovely hol down st Ives etc way last year. The lizard is fabulous. Good luck.

  3. The goings-on in your village! Life is pretty dull here, in comparison - no pubs with interesting landlords, no interesting neighbours either, come to think of it - just three dope smokers in a trailer down the road.
    Anyway - what a treat for a Sunday morning - three of your posts, not yet read. I look forward to reading a little more about that fellow who eats everything. I've read about him in CL and have reached the stage of being annoyed by him rather than inspired.

  4. Pondside, try this link:

    I'm not a Hughe fan, either...


  5. It's such a lovely feeling when you know in your heart that your live in a beautiful part of the world. I feel just the same about my own little corner.

    I have been thinking about doing an OU course for a while now. But can't decide whether I have time!!

    CJ xx

  6. Lovely blog.. will be interested if the rumours re Mat Follas prove correct, I thought him a worthy winner of Masterchef and it would be interesting to hear if he was going to get his heart's desire. Do hope so....

  7. Lovely blog.. will be interested if the rumours re Mat Follas prove correct, I thought him a worthy winner of Masterchef and it would be interesting to hear if he was going to get his heart's desire. Do hope so....

  8. A PS to my comment.. I take it you know Mat Follas has a blog? thewildgarlicblog... something like that. Seems the plans for the restaurant are going ahead, but he doesn't say where?

  9. Your community sounds great. I am envious! Spring is definitely here though, even where I am. The snow is melting!


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