Forest Row-ing

There’s something about the silence of the lambs, and sheep and cows.
The silence of a frosty morning.
The crisp moment when a dead leaf tumbles and spins, they say it’s lucky if you catch one. I held out my hands and a brown sycamore leaf landed in my palm.
I often wear my pj’s, boots, hoodie and zip up puffy thingy, to walk down the hill, through the avenue, round to the chickens and then home again.
Yesterday I did my circuit, then still clothed in leisure ware the old git drove us to the charity stores of T’Wells.
We’re making short films with our writer/director/poet/genius friend and we needed Dickensian garb. I found a great skirt in The Weald of Kent, a top in Dr.Barnados, and the ‘oosbind found a white scarf by Helping the Aged.
So with a bag for life stuffed with old clothes we walked to the car-park, next to which was RUSTIC, a caff run by a mother and daughter. I had a delicious black coffee in a rogue blue mug and Jimbo had an Americano and a block of something sweet with caramel, chocolate and memories. They’ve been opposite the Cafe Du Vin for five years. Who knew? AXA insurance staff keep them alive – they come and buy their freshly made lunch. It was a delightful serendipitous experience.
When we got home the cat was given her last antibiotics – she’d had an abscess – quite frankly disgusting only a mother could love her – and the fire had been laid. We settled down for Friday night telly, which if you’re not careful is a flaming marathon, what with Having got News for ya and Lying to ya, and Graham Norton and, Gawd knows what else tucked away in the schedules. Anyway bed beckoned and I went out like a light.
This morning the sun shone brightly, through my window, it was hanging so low I could barely see the screen in my room. The leaves have gathered under the Magnolia tree, the wood is stacked in the wood shed, and the neighbours are off playing croquet.
Jim’s monocle and three cornered hat arrived, I’m waiting for my mob cap, skirt hoop and the Beagles frock coat to fly through the door. I also ordered Alan Bennett’s ALLELUJAH, we saw the streaming, from The Bridge Theatre. at the Uckfield Picture House. We got the last two seats, coincidentally next to a Green Party activist that I canvassed for last year.
The play is timely, the play is prescient, the play is funny, sad and just what the doctor ordered, literally since its about old age and the NHS.
Some of the audience left, not funny enough, too Socialist. Bugger the Sussex elite with their private health insurance, padded gillets and smug disdain for the likes of yours truly.
So whilst Jim made a drawing screen for the fire – we used newspaper! – I took myself off through the Ashdown Forest to TABLEHURST FARM. Never been before, Through Forest Row, past the bath on a pedestal, right off the main road, down to the end of a track, past pigs rootling and cows in a stall, past fields and gates and into a car parking place opposite a kids play area, next to an open air pizza oven and underneath a pigeon loft. The murmur of pigeons vroo vrooing is the dawters favourite sound. Made me think of Jack Duckworth on Corrie, my how times have changed.
I bought chicken legs in the bio-dynamic, organic farm shop, dirty carrots, massive chard leaves, gluten free cookies and bulbs of fresh garlic.
The beautiful setting, and kindly people made my heart sing. If we’ve only got thirteen years to get the planet right then meat once a week and seasonal veg is the answer. I know I’m preaching but come on how hard can it be for ALL OF US to have a go at turning it round.
I parked underneath the bath on a stick and walked up the stairs to MARIA’S caff at Blenheim Studios. So pretty, so calm. I ordered a toasted cheese and mushroom sarnie and a cup of Americano coffee with hot milk on the side. Let me tell you it was the best toasted sandwich I have ever tasted. I don’t know how she made it but Maria’s cheese and mushrooms completed my day.
I drove home through the steep hills of the forest, honked at the rudest van driver who was tailgating me then like, a speedy Tom Cruise, overtook me. I followed him, prepared to take him on, he stopped, I took a breath ready for a barney, he must have thought twice, an old lady on her own in a car, with a face like a rolled up umbrella. The coward fled off. Actually I was relieved.
Got home, and decided such beautiful produce needed a clean home, so I blitzed the fridge, and made a chicken casserole with a bed of carrots and sweet potatoes, smokey paprika on top and rosewater for the liquid. In the oven, on a very low light util the travelling dawter and husband arrive home.
It’s not like me to get overwhelmed with gratitude, well not openly anyway, but this evening, as my eye heals ever faster, and the Dickensian clobber spins in a 30 degree wash, and the smell of delicious food wafting over the kitchen, I’m grateful for it all.
If only I could singlehandedly pinch Trump on his fat arse, make him live on a rubbish tip in Brazil for a month, take away his spray tan and overturn Brexit life would be perfect.

3 thoughts on “Forest Row-ing”

  1. Oh, so evocative. And ever so slightly painful. Biting the bullet of reality, we are all staring the death of the NHS down the barrel. GTFTO!!!
    Thank you

  2. I’m confused, I don’t understand where you came up with the idea we only have 13 years to sort the world out.

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