Monday, 31 January 2011

A favourite...

Chalk Paths, 1935. © Estate of Eric Ravilious

Just a quick post today after a hefty break (all will become clear!) - I went home to Sussex for the weekend and as I was ambling around the Southdowns with my friend I thought of Eric Ravilious and how much I love his work. Today, The Persephone Post has featured one of his images - it's funny how you think of something after a long time and then it crops up elsewhere as a secondary reminder!!

I loved the old slam door trains - there was nothing quite like the feeling of speeding through the countryside with the window pushed down to the bottom whilst the warm summer air blew in your face. Somehow, I don't think Brief Encounter could have happened on our electric, aeroplane style trains!

Train Landscape, 1939 © Estate of Eric Ravilious

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Ringing the changes

The village in snow
It is, once again, a long time since I posted anything. Indeed, since I have written anything at all either online or in notebooks or on scraps of paper that I often look at and think, "what?!" I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year.

So much has happened that I am going to have to speed through or else it will be March and I will still be catching up on December. A week before Christmas Mr Bell and I braved the blizzards and moved house for the second time in a year. Due to the snow we were delayed by four days and caused quite a stir in the village as we ended up being towed in as our van had got completely stuck. In the midst of our frenzied move we went down to Sussex for a lovely family Christmas but we were fairly dazed at this point so everything was a bit of a blur and we never got around to putting up any of our decorations. It felt a bit of a shock to go to mum's and see a Christmas tree as I didn't have time to get obsessively Christmassy (which I usually do). Anyway, I gorged myself on Christmas lunch and had lots of cuddles with my very cute eleven month old niece.

Tonight is the first time we have connection to the internet (long story) and we are still sorting out the utilities (tedious) BUT every morning I wake up to my lovely tabby cat nosing his way into my consciousness as he demands his breakfast and the views from our windows change from day to day depending on the light which reminds me why we moved in the first place. For the past six months we have been without our beloved tabby cat as we couldn't find anywhere in the centre of Oxford to rent that would accept a cat. Ironically, London seems to be more amenable to animals! Anyway, we had to send him to my best friend who lives in Sussex so he has had a six month sabbatical from us, enjoying himself no end and being thoroughly spoilt. We didn't cope so well in his absence. Soft as we are, we never got used to being without him so despite the mad move it has been totally worth it.

So now we are country dwellers. A whole new experience and, so far, an interesting one. We are still a cycle ride from the city centre so we are not too isolated, before you start imagining an hour's hike to the nearest shop, but it is quiet enough that we have more peace, we have a lot more space and it is fun to experience such a contrast from the flat in London that we crammed ourselves into.

In terms of reading, moving house doesn't aid literary pursuits so there has been a bit of a drought. I am currently reading The Group by Mary McCarthy and The Sacred and Profane Love Machine by Iris Murdoch which are getting me through the dry spell. My only resolution for 2011 is to be a more diligent blogger as things have lapsed of late!