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
Well, the book's arrived and the launch at Waterstones, Bridport , has been announced. It will be this Saturday, 7 May, from 10am un...
Living in Greece for the past couple of months, I've been asked what the refugee situation is like here. Well, to be perfectly hones...
* First published 2 May 2013 The sense of anticipation is mounting here in Corfu for Holy Week. Church bells ring twice a day as the de...
We've just picked up a vehicle for my big brother from Kostas and Antonis at the appropriately-named Sunrise Car Hire. They'r...
Easter in Corfu is the most incredible thing. In our eleven years of visiting this island, it is something we have been told about many...