This rainy Wednesday (who’d imagine it’s July?) finds me in desperate need of some sunshine. The rain clouds have gathered over Barford, literally and metaphorically. Dear, dear Eva has just lost the baby she’s been carrying for just 12 weeks. It’s so difficult to know what is best to do in these situations.
News of course travels quickly, and I knew the news long before Eva told me, but it seemed to me the most respectful and loving thing to do was wait until if, and/or when, she was ready to come and talk to me about it herself. And, I’m glad that I did.
I think that may be the one drawback of living in such a tiny community, news travels so quickly, and before you know it the whole world news everything about you. But on the plus side, when tragedy does strike, there are so many anchors of support when you need them.
I received a phone call this morning from a fellow member of Barford W.I., requesting my support as an anchor for another American woman/couple who has/have just moved to the village temporarily.
We are tentatively meeting for coffee at the Machado Gallery on Friday morning. I think my advice to her, apart from joining the Barford W.I., will be along the following lines:
Give up on the weather.
Talk less, listen more.
Make an effort, put yourself out there, get involved.
Stop comparing, enjoy the uniqueness of English culture/British life.
I shall also advise her that falling in love with this place is very, very easy.
On Monday, I literally ran to look at an adorable cottage that had just been put on the market here in Barford. I arranged a viewing with the estate agent at 1:30 PM. Another set of viewers had had a look at 1:00 P.M.
I liked the look of the place, and the D.E.B. and I had planned to have a look together tonight. However, the agent phoned me this morning to say that the first couple put in an offer Monday afternoon at 4:00 P.M., and has been accepted by the property owners.
So, our hopes on the Barford house front have been dashed yet again. Oh, well. The quest continues. The one hopeful thing is that maybe such a speedy sell as this will ignite other would-be sellers in Barford to put their properties on the market, and offer them at a reasonable rate -- as opposed to the typically outrageous Barfordian prices. This place I looked out on Keytes Lane went for a song.
Right. No good sitting here brooding over dreams deferred. As the Royal Mail motto says: Carry on!
A rainy day requires something warm, and is the perfect time for a little culinary adventure! So I’m off to the kitchen to make a Blackberry Crumble. No cheating, I’m making the crumble topping from stretch – no pre-packaged mixes, here, thank you – and I’m going to have a go at making some real English custard.
Tonight, I will be joining the D.E.B. for dinner with his colleagues from the European office in Belgium. Technically, this will be my first official duty as the “Mrs. D.E.B, Corporate Spouse”. I’m thrilled, and have of course bought a new outfit to wear! (Thank you, Oxfam Shop online).
I really want to make a good showing. The D.E.B. has countless horror stories of his very silly (my words) ex-wife, Thomasina, routinely embarrassing him on a grand scale. “Just relax, and be yourself,” I can imagine my grandmother saying to me right now.
And you know, I think I may just take that advice. Here’s hoping a little charm and Blackberry Crumble will do the trick.