Saturday, 2 January 2010

Blog characters unmasked for my last post

There is a deep frost this morning and the nude nymph who greets motorists to the village is snuggled up in a colourful hooded coat. The dogs' breath and mine comes out in great clouds as we walk across the fields. They sniff a large frozen cow pat, with three holes in the top. It looks like a giant's discarded button.

On a pheasant shoot across the valley, shotguns retort to one another, echoed by the barking of dogs anxious to be taken out for a walk by their sleepy owners.

It is 2010. The first decade of the 21st century ends with a blue moon. The new year begins with thick heads and the sound of morris dancers in the village square.

What will the next 12 months bring to the village? A period of uncertainty, with the publicans leaving, the shop up for sale and our new vicar trying to manage a scattered group of parishes with the help of retired clergy and laity while the church hunts for a new team rector to run the show.

The primary school will re-open for the new term with staff silently praying for a baby boom to keep up pupil numbers in the years to come. Post office facilities return with an outreach service in the village hall.

Mr and Mrs Loggins will build their new home, a Sheepwashlet will marry on Oak Apple Day and Mr Grigg and I will head Down Under to visit family and friends and delve into family history.

The new year brings new things but the cycle of village life continues. My blog has been an organic process of recording daily happenings in a small community in one of the prettiest parts of the south west. The blog is coming to the end of its natural life, I fear, but I am so pleased to have shared village goings-on with people from all over the world. Thank you to my friends who have, on the whole, been happy to provide the inspiration for my cast list. Thanks too to my followers. I never did make Google's Blogs of Note but I do intend stopping by your places every now and then, maybe to throw in a hand grenade comment or two and then swiftly running away.

In the meantime, here are some real-life photos of my blog characters.

Nobby Odd-Job:

Pelly, Mr Sheepwash, Posh-Totty and MDF Man:

Bobby and Bellows Packman:

Randy Munchkin:

Mr and Mrs Champagne-Charlie:

And finally, Mr Grigg:

I forgot to mention our New Year's Eve party was a masked ball.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x


  1. Maddie!!!
    What are you can't leave me!!
    I love reading your blog and Geoff will miss the complements (he spent hours grinning) after he read you last comment!!
    How long will you be Down Under??
    Surely you could blog from there??
    Think again woman!!
    You'll miss us as much as we'll miss you, honestly..
    Take care
    It's been lovely hearing about your village life and your sailing antics.

  2. I always enjoy your blog but seldom comment as you often leave me speechless with your talent for the written word. Please don't stop. I believe they have computers in the Antipodes.

  3. Oh Maddie - I feel awful - I haven't popped over in a while because I've been doing a bit of my own soul-searching too - trying to work out whether I want to continue with my blog or not as well - and now I've come over here and I can see that you've been going through the same thing. So sorry I haven't been around to support you as much as I would have liked. You know how much I love your blog and the way you write and I wish things in life were all a bit easier so blogging wasn't such a committment! Please don't leave it for good - please come back every now and then. I'll be so sorry to see you go. And I loev the photos btw - you're such a tease! xx

  4. You can't stop blogging my dear, it would be criminal. How about "The world from down under?"
    Happy New Year!

  5. Please change your mind. I'm sure there'll be plenty of material down under - and you're a writer so you won't be able to resist commenting (at least that's my hope). You know, I read your blog with anticipation, knowing that I'm going to smile or nod or just read it again and that I won't be expected to write a huggy polite comment (unless it's truly called for)
    If your flight touches down in the Pacific northwest please let me know and I'll come out to meet you with a bunch of daffodils.

  6. I read at lunchtimes at work and have got some strange looks at I chortle away at the goings on and even comings off on occasions. Hope you have a wonderful time down under and that you will return rerfeshed and blog here once more.

  7. When you have had a wee rest and got yourself Down Under, do please blog again. After all, one of the joys of the Internet is that it is world-wide, so no excuse. You are such a good writer, we will all miss you very much in your absence. Have a really happy time Down Under and don't forget about us.

  8. Like you I thought that my blog had come to it's natural end in 2007, but it never went away, it was always there waiting for something to be added. So I came back this year. You'll forgive me if I don't mourn your passing just yet. ;0}

  9. I am cheered by all your kind comments, thank you. I almost gave up blogging in a hissy fit back in the autumn but I think I've really hit the end of the road this time. I have other projects in the pipeline, so you may not have heard the last of me yet, even if this blog does not appear again. (Although when I saw the cardboard outside Mr St John's house this morning I thought 'I must tell the world he was given a pair of Birkenstocks for Christmas'.)
    There are some real pals I have made via this blog, bosom buddies I've never met, some of whom I have, and as the woman at the end of the Morecambe and Wise Show used to say, I love you all. Pondside, when I read the bit about the daffodils I almost felt a tear come to my eye (just the one, mind).
    Anyhow, I'll pop by to your places by and by.
    Happy New Year to you all.
    Love M xxx

  10. Just when I thought I was getting to know the villagers! This blog has been an absolute treasure Maddie. You should be very proud of it.
    Chips Ahoy salutes you!

  11. You can't go ..... I've only recently found your blog :(

  12. I sure do understand other things keeping you busy, but like the others, I would prefer to selfishly keep you blogging.. at least sometimes. Best of luck to you in your endeavor, Maddie. :)

  13. Nooooo don't go I love dipping into here and reading about your corner of Dorset, perhaps after a little rest you'll return and we shall be here waiting. xx

  14. Such a shame Maddie but I feel you might really mean it this time. Top notch writing enjoyed by many that will be sorely missed. See you soon for a gossipy catchup.

  15. Was I something I said? short an acquaintance.
    You are always welcome to pop over anytime. Cheers.....Bernard

  16. I'm sorry that you're moving on. I only just met you through @Laales. Diddy sent me here. I loved your Christmas post, but was sorry to hear about the corgi.

  17. I am sorry to hear you are closing your blog. It does not seem to me that you have come to a natural end. It seems so unjust, that Emmerdale is still on the air with its preposterous storylines yet the very real and humorous interactions of a community as documented by you will now be over. are you really sure about this?

    If you start another blog, let me know. also, is Posh Totty single?

  18. Please don't go. Don't go. It's not at the end of the cycle until we say so!!! ;-) x

  19. Maddie - you'll be missed, and I can't quite believe you haven't got anything further to say..... it's far too difficult to stand on the sidelines...... enjoy 2010! Lucy

  20. Thank You for all the time and effort you've put into this blog. I don't often comment either, but have loved every post. At times I've laughed till I cried, and then silently sighed at the longing for such a place. I wish you well, whatever you decide. A blog is a huge commitment, so don't blame you if it's time to move on.

  21. I think that you are a wonderful storyteller and I'm so sorry to read that you have decided to stop sharing for a while.

    I hope you return as I feel that you have a whole lot more to tell.

    I'm sorry that I didn't make it here more often.

    best wishes

  22. It will be great to watch Mamma Mia, i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.


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