We live in a place that is forever asserting itself, whether via its climate or its wildlife, or by knocking over trees or blocking culverts. The place has its own agenda, its own friends and relations (they often arrive unannounced for tea) and it is quite possessive.
Recently we were celebrating a sacrament (coffee and biscuits) with a friend on Sunday morning when there was a knock at the door. Outside, in the drizzle was a young woman we had never seen before. She was waving a long cardboard tube.
‘You don’t know me but I’ve come on an adventure!’
She wasn’t after out souls or even trying to sell us something.
She was just another one of the people that our cottage-holding had sent for (it’s happened before!)
Deborah is an artist, and buys strange things at auctions that inspire her — she cuts them up and stitches them. She had bought the map of our place — 1901 Ordinance Survey, at a sale in Leek, Staffordshire. She’d bought it years ago but could never quite bring herself to cut it up. It was personal to the house, you see; it had all the field names pencilled in, in Welsh, and even had the new well marked (circa 1980).
She couldn’t use it, and was passing within ten miles, so had brought the map home. She couldn’t explain it and felt it was rather an odd thing to want to do but we didn’t — we know our home. It doesn’t like to let go of things or people. So we will hang the map, once framed, next to the horse brasses, the dresser, the polished pump-nozzle, the wooden rake and the photographs of past residents and their New-World descendants, who have visited — all things that this sentimental old homestead has collected or reassembled since its original scant contents were dispersed at a farm sale in 2005.
4 thoughts on “Spooky?”
Wow Diana, isn’t it just amazing what some people do and so kind.
P.s. Great writing. x
Thanks Mandy , I think she was very brave but then she said she was looking for an adventure!
Diana, I also am a smallholder living just the other side of the border in a very old timber frame house on a wee farm. Our house too summons all sorts of folks and they bring their stories. Part of the magic of this place. I so enjoyed you sharing this.
I also just discovered your page with blog and writings. Your writings put a broad smile on my face which is hard to do these days as I wade through muddy sheep looking for nonexistent grass and worry about how long this cold and wet spring will last. The first article I read was about your young rams going off to market with tails and testicles intact. Very funny. It turned up accidentally when I searched ‘ Sheep no docked tails’ as I just found 3 lambs who had missed out on docking and now I am trying to figure out if I can live with that.
Anyway I hope you keep writing. I will definitely keep reading.
Oh! Let them keep their tails — anyway they are very relaxed about that sort of thing at Dolgellau market and the cafe is brilliant!