Today I had six glorious hours of freedom . As some of you may know I am an antique dealer , although I have done precious little dealing over the last two years or so . My business partner has been holding the fort but I have just started going back to work for a half day on a Monday and that feels really good . But today I booked some extra time with the carers and set off on a mini buying trip .
It was a beautiful autumn day , a pale blue sky with mist hanging like giant gauze curtains in the valleys . As I drove sometimes I was above the mist and it was as if I was driving above the clouds and then I would drop down only to re emerge into bright sunlight .The trees were magnificent , burnt copper ,gold ,dark rich red ,pale yellow , a veritable feast for the eyes .I could hardly contain my delight . I left Devon on my way to a small market town in Dorset , a lovely county left behind in the modern rat race ,no motorways , small picturesque thatched cottage hamlets and villages . Who would not want to live in Piddlehinton or Puddletown . The dealer I was going to visit has similarly been left behind by the modern era , no computer or internet selling , no mobile phone no credit card machine just a small premises tucked down a quiet alley . Come winter or summer he is always dressed the same , baggy corduroys , a woolly jumper with bits of veneer and wood shavings ( he is also a restorer ) over a check shirt with a tie which is knotted just to the left of his chin . He usually has some tasty bits of old English oak furniture which is my speciality . I go into his shop and inhale . There is nothing quite like the smell of old wood ,polish and oils . He does not disappoint and we are able to do a deal .
As I set off home , I pass through Lower Bockhampton the birth place of Thomas Hardy and it takes me back to my student days when I avidly read very book he had written , The Mayor of Casterbridge , Jude the Obscure , Return of the Native such happy memories and I promised myself I would read them all again .The sun was now beginning to drop towards the horizon and as I travelled the road along the Jurassic coast I could look across where the great cliffs of Golden Cap and Black Venn in silhouette fell away into the shimmering sea .
Inland the late sun cast long shadows across emerald green fields and giant oaks stood proud and solitary with autumn mist rising around their trunks and swirling up through the branches as it to wrap each one in gossamer .
Tired but happy I returned home , I felt rejuvenated ; take heart my friends there will be something for you too -I know it .