Took Scruffy for a walk this evening (Tuesday 11th May) and saw Mervyn on the way. Mervyn and Marion are next field neighbours, absolutely wonderful people and, better neighbours you could not get. Marion was out on Tigger, their horse.
They bought the house a few years ago, when it was completely derelict and hadn’t been lived in for several decades. I had seen it as it was, chimney down, holes in the walls, half the roof missing, windows and doors missing, and as much foliage growing inside as outside!
Every step they’ve taken has been done with much care and attention to detail. Marion laid the parquet flooring in the sitting room herself – twice! The first time to make sure there were enough small pieces to go into the pattern she wanted to create and the second to actually lay it. Mervyn was busy outside, building the stable, goat shed, cattle shed, sheep fences, chicken coops and many other wondrous buildings!
It really is like ‘The Good Life’, they are getting more self sufficient all the time. Both Marion and Mervyn are head gardeners at estates.
Marion has worked at Broadfield Court for 30 years and for the first 15 years was not allowed to even plant a seed! She has written a marvellous book about her life there called, ‘Think like a plant’. The book is brilliant for gardeners of fruit and vegetables; but not only that, it gives a wonderful insight into growing vegetables in a walled kitchen garden with the smell of windfall apples and the sound of birdsong all around.
I have my copy and should you want one (I thoroughly recommend it), they are available on http://www.amazon.co.uk at the worthwhile price of £5.99. Had a look at http://www.amazon.com, and unfortunately the cheapest one there is $57.60!