We started talking pretty much as soon as my guest wandered down this morning. About the same time coffee was made and Ani brought the first of the tennis balls.
By the time we eventually got round to going out it had become quite apparent that the stuff we have been working on will continue to be worked on while he is here. Which is wonderful. The fertile sparking of thought, realisation.. and mainly lunacy… is a constant delight. We didn’t stop talking, or laughing, till he went to bed. Nor did Ani stop with the balls, all the time we were in.
We’d had a gentle day, really, revisiting some places we have wanted to spend more time with, poring over medieval art, myths and legends. Enjoying the contours and history of the landscape around us as the sun shone in a clear sky and the red kites wheeled overhead.
We had begun with the old town. Then, being lunchtime, there was the historic King’s Head for a little refreshment in the courtyard of the ancient coaching inn, where the mounting block that may have helped Anne Boleyn to horse now holds only flowers and memories.
We wandered to Chalfont St Giles, where Milton completed Paradise Lost, and where we found a summer village beer festival on the green. But we had come for the incredible medieval paintings and were gifted with the sight of pale yellow hollyhocks growing against the flint walls of the church.
But most of the afternoon was spent basking in beautiful light in a tiny church we both love, and sitting in the shade of one of its trees and watching the kites, magpies, ravens and sparrowhawk play in the azure heavens.
Dinner was once again an al fresco affair on the deck in the pleasant warmth of the evening, lingering over cheese and a rich purple Syrah from Languedoc that tastes like the essence of France in a bottle. Honestly, much as I love France, and much as I had been looking forward to seeing my friends in Scotland, on a day like this there is nowhere I would rather be than here in the green of England.
We have laid plans.. fairly vague and very flexible… for the next few days. We intend to visit some beautiful places… and photographs will, of course, be taken…the camera and I have become somewhat a standing joke now.
My guest went to bed some time ago.. I am just waiting now for morning when I can show him the wicked pic I caught of him.
I believe he called me an evil hobbit…. 😉