In September there is a village outing - two nights in a rambling, old fashioned hotel in Woolacombe. Parlour games, communal meals and swimming. Blog heaven. But for the second year running, we are going to miss it. Last year we were on holiday and this year it's Number One Daughter's wedding. If I were paranoid, I could be forgiven for thinking the timing was deliberate.
But I am not paranoid, which is just as well because two sets of neighbours either side of us have 'sold' signs like bookends on their houses. Is it us? Mr Loggins thinks not. He turned sage on Sunday when he said: 'The fact they've both sold means there are people who actually want to come and live next to you.'
We are pleased our neighbours have sold in a so-called bad housing market but sorry they are leaving. They are village 'lifeblood' people and the square and our community will miss them. They will be a hard act to follow. Our elderly neighbour Gandalf is the wisest man I know. Our growing children were convinced he was a wizard, particularly after I told them the sound of his Flymo was really a hi-tech flying carpet.
I first became aware of his superpowers seven years ago when the square was to be the venue for a street party to mark the Queen's golden jubilee. The skies were black and we were all sure it was going to be a wash-out.
Gandalf emerged from his front door like one of those little people who go in when it's raining.
'What do you think the weather's going to do Gandalf?' I asked.
'At three o'clock, the sun will be shining,' he said.
At about 30 seconds to three, the clouds parted and the rays burst through as if we were in a Disney film.
I almost did a Wayne's World-style 'we are not worthy' at Gandalf's feet. It was a couple of years later I discovered he regularly listened to the weather forecast on the Radio 4 Farming Today programme. So it was the power of the BBC rather than the power of magic.
I wish him well in his new home. Which reminds me of a lovely song that comes courtesy of my Number One Son iPod playlist.
Here's the live version. Hope you enjoy it.
That's about it
Love Maddie x
The Beetle’s trundled more than eighteen hundred miles across Italy and France, with cars and lorries tooting both in frustration (it takes...
Once upon a time, a long time ago, I was a child in a meadow with a woodland circle of beech trees around me. And there was clover growing i...
Once upon a time, when I was fit, I cycled up to the most wonderful place on earth. It's in West Dorset and, when you get to the to...
We slipped out of the hallway, Martha the dog and me, edging past baskets of logs, boxes of things for a village event, a dog crate and musi...
They say that good things come in threes... Well, two good things have just happened to me, writing-wise. There's a feature about my...