Thursday, February 23, 2006
Journey to another country
My pal Zanny has been visiting her brother's home in Abergavenny and, this being considerably closer than Yorkshire, I took the opportunity to visit her there, dropping Ben off at school and then continuing on my way. It is always exciting to drive across the Severn Crossings, even though the weather was rather murky on this occasion. Driving up past Raglan towards Abergavenny there were snowcaps on the hills/mountains, whilst sheep and lambs huddled together in the fields below.
Zanny's "holiday home" is idyllic, the old gardener's cottage set in an extensive walled former kitchen garden in a valley, rolling down to the estate lake at the bottom, with trees and the "Big House" on the other side. Chickens free-range in the garden, fruit and veg are grown there, and it is very peaceful. Zanny's sister in law is a potter of repute, Mel Brown, and the house is full of beautiful artworks and ceramics. Zanny loves housesitting for her brother and I love visiting her there. We've known each other for thirty years now, her Morgan and my Sarah were born within a fortnight of each other and, whatever happens in our lives, we can pick up where we left off last time we got together.
Despite snowfall on and off through the morning (which luckily did not settle) we were able to take a short walk in the garden and, fortunately, I'd brought along my camera. The drifts of snowdrops and reflections in the lake were beautiful, the asparagus plants looked aptly frosted and the rusty garden gate was just lovely. After a delicious lunch of butternut squash, corianser and coconut soup from Mel's freezer (thanks, Mel) and fresh green salad with cheese for lunch, it was time to hare back home to collect Ben from school. I'm glad I had the opportunity to make this trip, and to see Zanny again.