Friday, 27 November 2015

Expansive 'top farm', perfect for blowing the cobwebs away.
The top farm, Turk's Barn and the valley are the landscape I imagined myself in as a boy in early 1980's Teesside, inspired by the 1967 film, (I saw the 1970's reruns on the 'telly') of  Thomas Hardy's 'Far from the Madding Crowd' and read several times since. My imagination fired even more by the purchase of 'The Illustrated Cider with Rosie' in a book shop on the the cobbles of Micklegate in York as a student in 1984.  Hardy and Lee had opened a distal south west portal to this son of the north east, a landscape that I thought only existed in my vivid imagination; but last Sunday here I was, long dogs loping buoyantly alongside, in a piece of Wessex that's been a fortuitous reality for sixteen years, top farm is my default go-to place to get my head straight and think things through. To lose yourself in any landscape, urban ones do it for me too, is a wonderful distraction.

Left to right back...Eleanor, Catherine, Ann.
Left to right front...Ben', Tony, Richard, Andy.
Plovers peep and Fallow roar on the top farm, we've lost  seasons since my last update re the Laburnums, for which I apologise. It's been a frenetic year...building a new team, Ben and Tony, (with Hayley on flowers in house) have helped man the pumps until Eleanor, Catherine and Andrew (Ann on flowers) clambered aboard. This is a good team, it's fun, very much like the old days. I can see progress, the future's bright. 

Bernie the Whippet basking in the adulation of gardeners Catherine, Ben' and Eleanor, during lunchtime yesterday.

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