Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Last Days of March

A post by Madame

It's been some time since I posted; not because nothing has happened, but because time and inclination to write didn't coincide, and then a major earthside event put travelling (let alone recording it) off the agenda for a while. These entries will be abbreviated, because I'm going from rough notes and don't have clear memories after this length of time.

23 March 2011

We went on a picnic with Henri, the boys and their respective spouses last night. It was in woods somewhere – not near our home, but somewhere frequented, because there was a picnic table and bench there. I have vague impressions of clinking glasses, singing (Louis brought his lute and Philippe, a small Spanish guitar), laughter and talking about what we'd been doing lately. I suspect there may be a minor French invasion of Sissinghurst sometime soon, after Louis and I described our day there. I wonder how Vita and Harold will feel at having a pack of unruly Bourbons come a-visiting?

24 March 2011

Katie about three years ago
I arrived Home to find Louis already breakfasting. He'd had his bacon and eggs (mine were keeping warm on the stove) and was sitting, elbows propped on the table, eating toast and honey. I set the coffee heating and had my breakfast, soon joined by Katie. I told her I was sure she'd already had her share and was just being greedy. She ignored this and helped herself to some scrambled egg.

After eating, Louis and I went to the shed for our tools. I mentioned liking a particular shovel, finding it a pleasure to use, and had to laugh at myself for sounding like Eric Olthwaite (for those who don't know the name, he was a character from Michael Palin's series Ripping Yarns, a terribly dull man whose great passion in life was shovels). Louis and I had fun steering the wheelbarrow, one hand each on the handles – not the easiest way to guide it! We spent the day marking out the knot garden with tape measures, stakes and string, and started the planting. In the evening, I copied the Iron Age stew featured on Time Team the night before – eel, salmon, sorrel, hawthorn, coriander and so on.

25 March 2011

The knot garden is finished! We didn't need our shovels today, just trowels and seed trays. We had lunch in the turret. I said, “You rest, I'll make sandwiches,” to which my gallant man said, “I am not resting while my lady works,” took my hand and we went inside. Digging around in upper cupboards, I found a jar of fish paste, which made Louis wrinkle his nose a bit and say it must have been inspired by all that Victorian or Roman stuff (from things I'd been reading lately). I took the lid off and had a taste.

“It's actually not bad,” I said. Louis had a taste, agreed, and we used it for our sandwiches. It was sort of like pureed sardines, for want of a better description. We took the sandwiches, apples (I laughed about copying autumn fruits in spring) and a couple of bottles of drink – think of ginger pop or some such thing – out to eat in the turret. We talked about how to surface the knot garden's perimeter path, and I had the idea of a plain tessellated path, in a soft sandy colour.

1 comment:

mcromance57 said...


So happy to see a post here, even if it is abbreviated.

I've been thinking about you a lot and wondering how things are going with you on the earthly side.

Sending hugs and lots and lots of positive thoughts your way.