7th anniversary of our residence in Somerset
There is only one way to celebrate and that is by going to Hartleys Kitchen, rookery farm, Binegar. It’s not actually in this place, but in the middle of nowhere. If you want an excellent and jolly meal, type in BA3 4UL or visit their website.
Very few people do things well. The best cafes are family run and you can feel it when you walk in. Paul, the proprietor, has an excellent memory for people, is always pleased to see you. He has an excellent sense of humour, and oh, I forgot the food is good. It doesn’t matter where an establishment is, if you are good, the public will find you. Paul has been proprietor of this place for 10 years and he works a six-day week. Goodness knows how he does it, but he loves his job so much.
At an adjacent table, I noticed that someone was very picky about wanting a particular variety of gravy. I decided to give the term a condition, and thus increase my vocabulary. The term was graveophile or graveoholic. With some hesitation I approached him but he was quite good humoured and we agreed that the former term was more accurate as a descriptor
I was asked by someone at a neighbouring table what my time in Somerset has meant to me – and indeed to Françoise. First of all, it’s not that we found the place, the place found us, and as I have written previously there was no question even before we walked in the door that the place we had chosen was the right one for us. I find the question difficult to answer. Had I remained in London, which was in a stage one carer block of flats which means you have a warden to look after you, but you were independent. I think I would have eventually got fed up with the rather gossipy atmosphere and wanted to move on. Most of my fellow residents were ‘old’ and were resigning to living out the rest of their days without making any particular effort.
There is a definite benefit in moving out of London because I got £170,000 for my modest two-bedroom flat and that can buy quite a lot of house, or at least a pretty good help towards a mortgage, on a much bigger property out-of-town. When I return to London now, I find the pace of life exciting but just too much to cope with, alien almost, and I stumble around like a country bumpkin (an unsophisticated or socially awkward person from the countryside) until after 24 hours I have adjusted myself. The transport system is superb, and it has to be, with buses every 10 minutes or so and subways that whisk you from A to B in no time.
However, there are other aspects to London than that. The levels of EMF are much higher and they will be 10 times as bad when 5G gets switched on, probably next year. I know there are parks in London, where you can get relief if only temporary from the stresses and strains of city life but in Somerset, the stress level is much lower all the time. This is a mixed blessing because sometimes people fall asleep due to lack of stimulus and there are fewer people on my wavelength but given the choice give me nature any time. For intellectual stimulus we have to go to Bath, Bristol, Wells, Frome but these are within reasonable distance. All except Bristol are about half an hour away. Bristol is about an hour on a good day.
I return home and watched TV. Françoise watched Highlander III. I watch Robin Williams compilation and order Good Will Hunting from eBay at a price of £1.78 including postage.