Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Spring is in the air just in time for Easter

May is out and clouts have been casted.


Whatever clouts are, spring is well and truly here.

The daffodils are out and over, the primroses are running rampant and the bluebells won't be far behind them.

Up on the hill it's quiet in the mornings but like Piccadilly Circus as the day progresses. There are families with dogs, older people whose energetic grandchildren drag them up the slopes towards the rope swings.

Down in the fields, the sheep are safely grazing while young steers and heifers frolic among themselves when they spot a dog walker scurrying along rather too hurriedly. The best way to avoid their attention is to ignore them completely, although I have been known to stop, turn around then roar rather loudly if they get too close.


Mind you, I have been known to run down in my wellington boots at half past seven in the morning, singing at the top of the voice.

On those occasions, when I'm belting out Don't Fence Me In, the cattle generally shoot off in the other direction, which is a little bit harsh.

Oh, the joy of the open countryside. You just can't beat it.

Happy Easter!

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Going native in the Brexit headwind

Over the past few years, I've avoided talking about Brexit, either online or in person.

The referendum nearly three years ago ended up with me being carted off in an ambulance to hospital with a heart attack.

Which ever way you voted (and I'm firmly in the 'Remain' camp), this whole debacle and the politicians' terrible handling of it has left everyone fuming.

And still it goes on, and it will do for years and years to come, whatever the outcome. We are a divided nation, although we have more in common than we think.

People are angry and intolerant and quick to take offence about everything, particularly online. It's as if being respectful and kind have been consigned into the bin of history, along with the Sinclair C5 and clackers.

I'm in Sir Oliver Letwin's West Dorset constituency. I had hoped his intervention in the Brexit pantomime might have sorted things out once and for all.

Oh no, it didn't. And, look, behind him are a bunch of lying, cheating colleagues jostling for position to bring us ever further down into the quicksand that the majority of the population did not vote for.

These days, I can only keep sane by going native every day to find solace in the little things. Small details like the early spring sunlight peeping through branches on a morning walk to the top of a hill.


The vivid red of a postbox against a bright green grass verge.


The way raindrops collect on the bars of a field gate.


Exquisite birdsong, damp and springy lichen on thick-set tree trunks. Squelching in deep mud in my wellies, the smell of cow dung on the fields, the feel of the rough bark of a beech on my cheek when I go to hug it.

Violets hiding in the hedgerows, primroses smiling in the grass.

The dog nuzzling up to me with a toy in her mouth, wanting me to throw it. Freshly-washed clothes billowing out with gusto on the line.

Small joys in an increasingly mad world. To be breathed in and soaked up before anyone can tell you otherwise.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

Lanny by Max Porter, an extraordinary novel best read in splendid isolation

I’m on the Isles of Scilly with friends, the weather’s been glorious and there’s been lots of walking, paddling in the clear wat...