The Fields At Derriton

 A Secret We Nearly Kept! 

An incredibly whirly gnarly textured old ash tree growing at the edge of a hedge, by a wooden gate, the ground is slippery with dark mud

Thursday 3rd December 2020
Walked around two fields, liked them. Phoned the estate agents, decided to offer the guide price. Woke up at 2am in an indecisive panic. Should we shouldn’t we do this? Annoyed at myself for wasting time with worry when the offer could go nowhere.
We have made offers before. The velvet jacket I didn’t buy in the Hospice shop appears in a half awake dream. Don’t have regrets, it is telling me.
It was such soft velvet and only £4.
These are south facing fields near the River Deer, nearly 5 acres. A small stable block, mature hedging, a corner of woods. Somewhere a mains water connection

Friday 4th December 2020
I go to the Post Office, the haberdashers, the stationers, the homebrew shop, ticking off a list. Head home. Mr has just finished a phone call.
Offer accepted.
We are scared - not as much as before. Excited, manageably. There is an ease to it. It isn’t exactly as imagined because it is real. We are too amazed to tell anyone.
The daunting will no doubt flare up as we go, but here we go.

Thursday 10th December 2020
Legal process ongoing, searches ordered, we found where the tap pops out of the halfway hedge, it works.
The weather has been bringing all kinds of amazements- skies dark as broken-bone bruises, seering rainbows, a moon as big as my car looming pink over moorland hills, delicate spikes of ice- I have not written about it.
My head is full then empty, thoughts like tidal swells. Night flushes run hot and cold, interrupting sleep. Sleep that comes is stirring a pot of odd details into all kinds of escalated nonsense.
[The world may be hoarding horrors: we have our land as a symbol of hope and regeneration.]
Until all the paperwork is signed off we aren’t going public with the sale.
We keep thinking about layout, about planting trees, tidying paths.
This winter there will be much reading and writing of lists.
Meanwhile, one must not get lost, running ahead: you step from where you are, so pay attention.
I am sitting in bed after a mostly restful night, typing these words.
Mr is in the kitchen, about to wash up. He has checked the fire. The garden is rain washed, the sky now a blank. A crow stirs the thin branches of the tall pine. Washing machine rumbles.
I will have another coffee, having brought a flask to my bedside, before getting up and dressed. I will hang up the laundry, go to work.

Friday 11th December 2020
View from the bedroom window is of shed roofs, polytunnel, the gangly pine, sections of hedge letting leaves go, snaking ivy, ruffles of bamboo greenery.
I am sat in bed out of laziness, it’s mild and damp. Sky is bland.
Today is strange because I don’t have a plan. Most days I have things I know I want to do, and simply list them, tick them off, or I know to follow instinct, to unwind, to replenish.
Today had better be a follow your instinct day. Indecisiveness probably is tiredness.
Beyond this little circle of being there is much to worry about- I think how to make my circle a good space, an antidote space.
It’s okay to start this day lazy, it can list as self care.
In the sky a line of cloud begins. Birds are warbling, what leaf remains sways in a soft breeze.
A small bird alights at the polytunnel but I had closed the vent and it could not get in. I will reopen it: my thanks for the song.

Saturday 12th December 2020
At work. We have a calming YouTube of crackling logs in a wide stone fireplace, tall windows showing whirls of snow. Xmas tree is pulsing colour.
A bit of limbo time, waiting on search results, waiting on paperwork. Xmas story posted on blog, doing the usual slow collection of views which can feel anticlimactic. Not sure what to work on. It’s okay to be here though, okay to be unsure.
What I’m on the cusp of doing wrong is chasing results.
Put the bubble lamp on, and changed YouTube to an underwater nature relaxation: currently in a coral bed. Care client quiet and content. I drink sage tea.
Adverts break the spell but we get back in the water.

Monday 14th December 2020
Last week I treated myself to a tour of the Charlestown Shipwreck Museum, including the Tunnel of Lights which was cheery and homemade and spilling with small children.

A tunnel, big enough to stand up in, lined with white fairy lights. Two xmas trees to the right, out of which appear a lamppost and a fawn, like Narnia

The museum articles that struck me most were the shoes of long lost sailors (very often I photograph my feet/footwear as a sort of self portrait in a landscape, perhaps that was the link) and that there is a display entitled General Shipwreck. A grin of recognition for that. Looked at my reflection in the glass, felt seen.

Today belongs in that display - nothing major, just a flat rainy afternoon.
Day dreamed designs of passive solar thermal mass, swales and large ponds, and tree planting; ordered a book on forest gardening.
Soon I will heat soup.
General salvage.

Thursday 17th December 2020
The day we cracked and went public with the land progress. Too exciting to hold onto... Social media messages pinging merrily.
We are in this together now!
Happy figure stands arms and legs akimbo in a grassy field, a spaniel noses the earth nearby. Background is a hedge and stables, foreground is an iron fence with a SOLD sign on it.


Wonderful news.
And yes, lazy mornings ARE self care. Which I need to remember.
Lisa Southard said…
Please do laze! Looking forward to taking you all on this adventure (praying the paperwork is straightforward) xx
CONGRATULATIONS!!! I'm so happy for you. What an exciting adventure you have ahead of you now... and I hope you'll take us along for the ride. :)

Happy New Year!!! (It's getting closer...) XX
Lisa Southard said…
Susan, a front row seat for you! Happy Nearly New Year xxx
Fantastic! A new adventure begins.

I love that gnarled mess of vegetation in the top photo. It's like a universe all its own.

Lisa Southard said…
We are ready for it :-)

Top photo is the trunk of an old ash tree, and we fell in love with it on sight.

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