Summer such as it is

Well summer marches on , the longest day and midsummer's day are behind us and yet it seems hardly to have started . Our Devon lanes , which are narrow at the best of times are now half the width they were , as an abundance of greenery spills out of the hedgerows ; ferns , bracken , cow parsley buttercups campion ,ragged robin all fighting for space whilst through the tangled mass ,spears of pale purple foxgloves push skywards . The sight of a bumble bee emerging backwards out of one of the flowers always makes me smile as it reminds me of a great aunt who always emerged backwards from her Morris mini - all bum and no elegance . Up from us the road is arched by hazel and as you walk through the tunnel ,the sunlight dances its way through the leaves and creates a kaleidoscope of patterns on the mottled tarmac surface of the road .Then you come to a gateway where you get a vista of rolling hills lining the valley and in the nearest field which undulates lazily across the hillside there is a crop of pale green barley which shimmers like water as the wind caresses the soft whiskery heads . I look at it with pleasure ,tempered by sadness as I know V can't see it as she now sits almost bent double and I also know that if I tell her about it - it hurts as it is yet another aspect of her life which has been taken away and although later she may not even remember we have been out , the moment is one we no longer share .


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  • Hello Georgepa. Thanks for another lovely story. Sorry V can't experience the wonders of nature any more, hubby had the same problems being doubled up. Hope you have a good nights sleep. Maddy

  • Beautiful as ever! But where are the sheep?????

    Lots of love


  • Thank you Georgepa for putting yet another picture in my head. I half expected you to say you were caught in a sudden deluge or startled by the clap of thunder that arrived at the same time as the lightening. Perhaps it's a bit better down there.

    Colin has shoulder straps on his chair to stop him doubling up but his eyes are usually shut when we are out, and behind sun glasses. I take photo's on my eye pad and show him when his eyes open. Sometimes, if we are out and he is looking but not at what I'm seeing, I will show him the eye pad then. He has indicated he can see the large photo's.

    Keep enjoying those country walks Georgepa and hopefully summer will arrive soon.


  • George lovely as always, hope you are keeping well, NannaB no rain out thunder and lightening here, just a few drops of rain late afternoon. George did you get the CHC, been thinking about you, I was wondering if you got it? Yvonne x

  • Yvonne I put a load of washing, lots of towels and sheets on the washing line yesterday in beautiful sunshine. It was so windy I thought it would be dry in no time. A couple of hours later, without warning and the sun still shining, there was an enormous crack not clap of thunder at the same time as lightening and hail. The road looked like a river. Within 10 minutes it had stopped and was steaming and half an hour later there was a repeat of the deluge. It was so windy we had pots flying across the garden. I felt the washing at 9 pm and everything other than the towels were dry at the top and dripping at the bottom. The towels are still outside but everything else went in the tumble dryer. I was supposed to be playing my Uke at a neighbouring village fete yesterday but as the road to the village was going to be closed for the afternoon and it was in a field, I decided it would be risky taking Colin as if it rained or I had to get him home quickly, I wouldn't be able to. Also as it was so windy, it wouldn't have been pleasant for him in his chair. I wasn't going to be missed as there were about 26 ukes playing. I'm very pleased I stayed at home. Some of the players are coming here for a jam session tomorrow so I'll hear all about it.

    Have a good Sunday.


  • Still waiting for a response from the appeal panel .6 weeks on Monday !

  • Lovely description as always George but touched with a hint of sadness!

    It rang some bells for me, we have had hail stones today!

    Sending you hugs....Pat xx

  • Beauty framed in sadness....Like I do for Bruce and Bev does for Colin, take a picture for V. Your beautiful words paint a picture not needing more than ones imagination! But V may like to have gander at that foliage you so wonderfully describe!


  • Thank you George must look at our lovely Somerset lanes with your eyes instead of complaining when I have to reverse for other traffic! Px

  • Thank you George - beautiful ... but the sadness is agonising. D has always enjoyed an outdoor life and still likes to sit in the garden in the sun (when there is any) but, like you and V, a love of countryside is no longer a shared experience.

    Vicki x

  • Lovely description, George. Its a bit of mourning too all the time, isn't it ?

    I particularly love wild foxgloves. The colours are so beautiful and the delicate patterns. I remember a holiday in the Lake district with masses of them. I made a video. Must get it out. I put " Lark Arising " as background music and the water and flowers are wonderful. There is Chris , marching over the hills and through the styles. Happy days !

    love, Jean x

  • I would love to see and hear that! The foxgloves that remain around the gardens of my sweetheart's old farm, remnants of his father's passion for flowers, always surprise and charm me. His 4- year-old granddaughter saw them and learned their name yesterday. Sweet.

  • Thanks for the word picture of the soft Devon scenery, it reminds me of walks round Dartmouth when I was courting M and M was training at BRNC, steep overgrown lanes opening to fantastic vistas.

    I too take M for walks round the Home much more open along the prom or river. She is so curled and complains of brightness even on cloudy day, I wonder if it does he any good, though her smiles seem to say she understands. I have removed the shoulder straps and neck braces as they made her uncomfortable.

    Good luck with CHC, thanks for the peaceful picture Tim

  • Hi Georgepa

    You ought to be a writer as I had to read to the end as it was so beautifully written.

    I am sure V gets a lot out of your verble communication and is blessed with your care.

    Take care


  • I am afraid the progress of this illness has taken V down the cognitive impairment route and she has a growing resentment about all the things she can no longer do .She gets very frustrated and hates the fact that I am still able to go upstairs ,see things she can't and hold conversations she can't follow etc etc so I try to play down what I can do to spare her more anguish . Tricky path to tread but that's the cruelty of this illness .

  • Look to your own wellbeing Georgepa. This all sounds like food for the soul and your soul definitely needs feeding. Share your happy memories with V and remember the good times past. You have had them, no one can take that away. X

  • Sorry for the sadness in your life - but I loved the writeup - me and my siblings grew up reading Enid Blyton and Daphne du Maurier (and also James Herriott) - your writing reminds me of the rural countrysides described in their stories - my dad introduced us to this literature - he passed away in March from PSP

    Best wishes to yourself and your wife

  • Lovely description of the English countryside Georgepa, our country lanes in East Sussex are very similar to your description. There is also a touch of sadness because you can't share the experience with V. Ben was still able to enjoy the beauty of our countryside, I hope his recent accident doesn't alter things too much. Take care

    Love Kate xx

  • How is Ben? Xx

  • We are still in Bristol waiting for a bed to become available at the local community hospital. He is eating and drinking but his voice has become so weak I can barely tell what he is saying and sleeping a lot. Hoping this is just a reaction to the fall, op and drugs but it is a massive change. OT just rang from Bristol hospital to get details about Ben to pass onto staff after the transfer. It feels very weird here at my sons house all alone, they have gone on holiday for a week with the two little ones. I visit about 3pm to 6 pm and then back to be on my own again, odd after being with him virtually all the time since he became ill. Hope you are ok and have managed to get out and about.

    Love Kate xx

  • You paint a lovely picture.

  • Another lovely mental holiday you have given me, George. Thank you. I wonder how you learned to write so well? It's clear your descriptions begin with a heart deeply sensitive to the natural world and the comforts it can bring to a troubled soul. These days I find it hard to fully feel that comfort, as it all seems so precarious, so I especially appreciate your taking me down your lane, making me stop and breathe in the beauty. Did you spend your childhood in Devon? Gratefully, ec

  • Do you know Eastern Cedar I haven't written anything since I left school nearly 60 years ago .They really are only word doodles and any professional writer would rip them apart . I do it for relaxation at the end of a long day and if other people get some pleasure out of my meanderings then I am pleased. I used to read alot of Henry Williamson , HE Bates and Laurie Lea . Their countryside descriptions must have stuck in my mind .So when the mood takes me I will continue to put pen to paper so as to speak .


  • Oh and Thomas Hardy of course !

  • I don't know about the ruthlessness of professional writers, but I am a copy editor, so do spend a lot of time judging, and I think you have a beautiful talent. So there.

  • That's lovely of you to say so ,perhaps I can aspire to be the Grandma Moses of literature one day - or maybe I will travel and leave the green fields of Devon behind and see new vistas or maybe I will just daydream- who knows .

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