There are compensations working from home. This morning, as I amble around the field at seven o'clock with the dogs, dozens of swallows dart in and out the trees. I hear a buzzard mewing and then the comical noise of six Canada geese honking as they fly in graceful formation overhead. Two crows flap far apart high in the sky and a lone seagull cries on a chimney pot above Alf's cottage.
Now back in the house, I reflect on the weekend gone by. It has been one spent with friends - a dinner party chez Mr St John and Lady Friend, a barbecue with Mrs Bancroft and Nobby Odd-Job just before the carnival in Bridport, a classic car charity breakfast the next morning and then a veggie supper at the Grigg abode with the Sheepwashes and the Logginses. A non-stop circle of friendship.
The carnival could have been better but it was good to see community groups out in force. And in between the majorettes and the drab collecting vehicles, there were flashes of brilliance and a great deal of effort. What a shame the arty-farty trustafarian Notting Hill-on-Sea crowd don't get involved in the parade and turn it into something more like the town's London namesake.
However, I digress with this deeply-felt rant.
We have also been tending to the hens while Pelly and Mr Sheepwash were baking in the sweltering London heat. Mr Grigg said he was reminded last night of the girls chasing each other for fresh slugs when we witnessed Mr Loggins and Mr Sheepwash diving for the poppadoms and pickles. Mr Loggins then regaled us with a story of how a large piece of driftwood - nay, a log - floated Jaws-style towards him as he sat on Burton Bradstock beach with friends.
'It was like destiny. It was coming straight for me,' he said, his mouth full of Eton Mess. 'I nearly came back home and got my chainsaw.'
Mr Grigg was more restrained in his eating. After the 'chubby cheeks' comment from Reuben on my last post, and Maternal Tales being convinced that Mr Grigg was the one on the extreme left of the photo (this is, in fact, the lead singer of Dorset band The Sidekicks, who are playing at Number One Daughter's wedding), he has taken to doing a strenuous workout on the stepper I bought him two years ago and has hardly ever used. He has now devised an exercise routine around three-and-half plays of Bob Dylan's Thunder on the Mountain to get himself in shape.
I've been a bit wicked, though. Every now and then, when he is least expecting it, I quietly put the track on and blast up the volume. And he starts immediately running on the spot.
Pavlov would have been proud of me.
That's about it
Love Maddie x
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...
So, what do you think of it so far? The Durrells , I mean. If you live in the UK, Sunday evenings on the telly have just got a whole l...
* 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...
Oh my. Dorset is going to be bathed in swathes of light. The spotlight is literally turning on Hardy's Dorset, rural Dorset, that buco...
We've just picked up a vehicle for my big brother from Kostas and Antonis at the appropriately-named Sunrise Car Hire. They'r...