The first week in Bibury

I got up early this morning, mainly to put out the rubbish. We didn't have such stringent recycling regulations in London, so I felt that I needed - like any true journalist - the pressure of a deadline in order to get my head around which sort of waste went in which sort of container. And the rubbish is put out before 7am.
Thus it was that I was able to capture the dawn coming up over Awkward Hill, and the mist rising off the meadow. You could tell it was going to be a beautiful day.

It's been a busy week. Moving house is always a stressful business, and however well you think you have planned ahead, there never seems to be enough space for all your stuff. Another law of moving is that all the boxes that contain things you use least often are always the boxes that are closest to hand. However, you can't get away with just carting them off to the garage or the shed, because there is always a chance that some helpful person will have tossed in the tin opener, or the dishcloth, or some other household essentials, just to fill up the box.
I've spent most of the week without a broadband connection, too. And my landline sounds as if someone is scrunching up a packet of crisps whenever I try to phone anyone.
It seems odd not to be at work. It's not that I miss it; it's more that I have a vague feeling of guilt at the back of my mind. I feel as if I'm bunking off. Shouldn't I be doing something other than sitting at home leafing through kitchen brochures?
I look back over the week's activities: I have found the recycling centre; I have driven my daughter to and from Bristol through torrential rain and floods; I have found the Swindon branch of B&Q; I have emptied scores of cardboard boxes and unwrapped dozens of items of kitchen equipment. I have even found time to do two loads of laundry, and I have polished and swept. The cottage is beginning to look more like home, thanks to the new woodburning stove which was installed yesterday.
Here, though, are the real achievements. I saw a buzzard sitting in a tree the day we arrived here. I've seen deer grazing at dusk, and pheasants strutting through stubble. Tonight, for the first time in my life, I heard an owl call.


  1. Sounds like you've been quite busy! What does daughter think of the new place? How are the kits adapting?

  2. I heard an owl call. Those words are so evocative, sometimes there is an owl in a nearby tree. Once on our roof, very loud echoing thru the twirlybirds.

  3. So glad to hear the move is going well.

    Your last sentence sums up exactly why you should have moved :)

    Looking forward to seeing you soon

  4. Good to hear that your move went well, and that you have your priorities in order. I love the sound of owls.

  5. Victoria, and best of all, you have many more such achievements ahead of you! The pictures are idyllic. And I can't wait to tell my daughter, who's a fan of author Jasper Fforde and his Thursday Next series, that I have a friend who lives near Swindon, where the books are set!

  6. Lovely Victoria. So glad you got to hear owls calling. They're beautiful, aren't they? Yes, your new space sounds idyllic.

  7. First time you've heard an owl? Not really?

    So much change in such short a time. Inspiring and disconcerting.

    I've moved Message in a Milk Bottle to M2 -

    The link from Victoria's Backyard to your new blog (where it says 'My Other Blog') doesn't work.

    Sorry for staccato nature of comments.

    All best wishes for new life.

  8. Aren't those dark, quiet nights wonderful! Living in the English country is very special.

  9. It is indeed, Mandy! Which reminds me, thank you so much for your card. I have been waiting for my broadband to stop misbehaving so I can send you something in return...

  10. Lucy: Thank you so much for pointing out the link didn't work. This is because I didn't actually put a link in... It's there now.

  11. Good to hear you are settling in. We look forward to reading what Mario and Luigi think of it all.

  12. Hearing an owl call is magical as is seeing buzzards. We have some that circle above our house and they make a very eeire noise.

    You wait until you start to get lots of birds feeding in the garden - get a niger seed feeder and some sunflower seeds and you will soon get those bullfinches and goldfinches you wanted last year.

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