As the church strikes eight o'clock across a still village square, the blinds come up on the shop window and customers line up on the pavement outside to get their Good Friday paper. Even on a bank holiday, there is not much time for a rest for the shopkeeper and his little band of helpers.
Dandelion clocks breeze across the fields, much too early for this time of year. We are living in a hazy heatwave this past week, summer has arrived and it is still only April.
On the church tower, the union flag is still flying to mark the Queen's (real) birthday yesterday. Hot cross buns are waiting in the wings to come out at The Enchanted Village hall a little while later. We will gather and natter, have tea and coffee, sitting out at tables and chairs arranged in the car park and soaking up this glorious weather.
And we will say: 'I just can't believe all this sunshine. Isn't it wonderful?'
This morning we emerge from the hovel after a surreal night on the tiles with Mr Grigg's skittles team.
Rewind to last night at the annual prizegiving dinner at a holiday camp down by the sea, when the country's second richest woman next to the Queen hands out the prizes to the predominantly farming fraternity.
There are no prizes for our table apart from Manual, who walks away with a wooden spoon for the lowest score.
Meanwhile, I have a running commentary on my left as one of Mr Grigg's skittling colleagues tells me who everyone is and their complete family history. The narrator in my ear is perfect. I am fascinated by the connections in the farming world, fascinated by people in general.
So I work out that one elderly gentleman is my uncle's cousin. I introduce myself to an almost blind 87-year-old who still manages the occasional flopper (for the uninitiated, this is when you knock down all the skittles with one ball).
'I don't have to worry about drinking and driving,' he says. 'Because I can't drive.'
Then an ebullient woman I have never met comes over and hugs Mr Grigg.
'I didn't recognise you!' she says.
He turns to me and says: 'This is Nurse Gladys.'
'What, the one who gave you the rectal examination?'
Mr Grigg gulps and nods, all at the same time.
'No wonder she didn't recognise you,' I say.
That's about it.
Love Maddie x
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