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Showing posts from November, 2012

Chim chiminey, chim-chim che-ree

Now, before I had my woodburning stove installed, I had to have the chimney swept so that it was all nice and clean. I'd made an appointment a few weeks ago, because at this time of year, as you can imagine, sweeps tend to be quite busy.
The day came for the appointment, which I had carefully inscribed in my diary. No chimney sweep. Oh well, I thought, I'll try another sweep. It's quite common, in London, for tradesmen not to turn up - they get stuck in traffic or on the previous job. You just shrug philosophically and phone someone else.
I phoned another sweep, and a very friendly lady answered. I explained that the sweep I had booked had not turned up. Could they do my chimney by Thursday - two days away? No, she said, she was very sorry but they were fully booked. Who was the sweep who had failed to turn up, she asked? I told her.
I rang the next sweep on the list and left a message, saying that someone had let me down and I needed to have my chimney swept by Thursday. …

Whatever the weather...

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Since I moved to Bibury, the weather has alternated between torrential rain, howling gales and fog, with the occasional glimpse of sunshine, usually in late afternoon when I am driving due west.
I enjoy weather. I love watching storms, I don't mind being out in the rain (as long as I'm not on my way to work, or some event at which I have to look smart), and the first snow of winter still seems as magical as it did when I was a child.
In the country, however, you are far more aware of the power of the weather and its ability to wreak havoc frighteningly quickly. Here's the entrance to Bibury Trout Farm, on the River Coln, which runs through the centre of the village. In summer, the "dimpling stream runs laughing by", as William Blake put it. Today, swollen by days of endless rain, it was a ferocious torrent, submerging the footbridge that leads to the shop where I buy my newspaper.



The other day I had to drive my daughter back to Bristol University, a fairly easy …

The first week in Bibury

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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 dishclo…