21.5.09

Holly-bobs



By the time you read this, we will be trundling down to the West Country on the Varedero to a small one room barn conversion (with four poster bed) in Parracombe. I don't think I've stopped working since Feb 2008, when my first needle felt kit arrived, wonderously and anonymously through the post. (Thank you, fairy Godmother). It has been an incredible year-and-a-bit, but I am serious need of some non-creative relaxation, (well, just my Moleskine sketchbook...) This will be my first week's holiday since 2005, soon after I started this blog and went totally freelance.

In need of fish&chips&icecream&pinkrock&beer money, I got stuck into my neglected commissions list and fulfilled an order for our lovely neighbour, four Christmas robins.





We are going to see old and much loved friends and paddle in the cold North Devon sea. Hopefully this Saturday we will visit the Devon County Show, which is going to reduce me to happy tears; it was the one big event mum used to save up for, so that we could have a 'rural' day out together and dream of having chickens. I haven't been since I was eleven, when friends of the family had to take me, as mum was too ill from her chemo to come. She was determined that I should not miss it; she knew how much I loved it. It wasn't the same without her, but by the looks of it, I managed to enjoy myself.





Because she shielded me from the worst of her sickness, I had no idea how fatally ill she was, nor that my dad would pass away before her, only a few months after these pictures were taken. Me, in my hand embroidered 'FONZ' flares, and my hippy hat with animal badges on.






I have never felt so close to this little girl as I do now, stood atop the biggest combine harvester at the show. Her life was about to be scattered to the four winds, and yet, she survived. She become lots of different kinds of people over the years and ended up, circle-wise, pretty much the same person as she was then, with similar ambitions as she has now. Country life, smallholding, growing veg, home baking, painting and making things. She thought she would spend all her life in her beloved Devon, but spent most of it trying to get back.






I know that this time round, that young 'me' and the spirit of my mother will be with me, somehow, sizing up pigs, crooning over hens and bustling round the WI tent looking at chutneys. The ultimate aim of our trip is have a look at property prices...let's see if we can't get on the housing ladder this time round, before we reach our dotage. I've been too long away from home.



38 comments:

Rachel said...

What a lovely, moving post. Have a wonderful well-deserved holiday and tell us all about it when you get back (and with my thinly-disguised Devon agenda, I will read with intense interest anything relating to property seeking).

acornmoon said...

May God bless you Gretel, I hope all your dreams come true.

Bee said...

Oh PG! What a lovely and poignant post. I'm so happy for you . . . having a holiday, and looking to fulfill your long-harbored dreams.

I love that you have included these photos of your adolescent self; how interesting that you feel that life has brought you back full-circle to your "essential" self.

And of course I wish you sunny weather in Devon!

Sue said...

Thank you Gretel for sharing so much. I hope you find that sweet girl again and have lots of adventures in her company. Looking forward to great tales on your return :-)

Decadent Housewife said...

Lovely post - I'm that same little girl. Have a wonderful time.

Hirondelle said...

beautiful post, thank you for sharing yourself with us

I just lost dad at the ripe old age of 39 (me not dad, he was 77) but there is something about losing your parents that turns you back into a little girl - so I do empathise with those images of a girl who is world is about to change so radically

Hope you have a wonderful and extremely well earned holiday.

karengberger said...

Thank you for sharing these memories and dreams with us. I hope that the Devon County show is a wonderful experience for you, and that you make new memories to cherish and keep with the old.
Blessings to you.

Mlle Miracle said...

I'm crossing my fingers for you both, wishing you could find a beautiful place to live, a wonderful house. You deserve it Gretel!
Un gran abrazo (a huge hug in spanish)

liZZie said...

May you have the most wonderful time PG! x

BumbleVee said...

I'm sure it's been a long haul for you....and from such a young age.... I'm glad that things seem where you want them now....

good luck finding the perfect little property and some chucks....

I love coming to look at all your little "felteds"

tlawwife said...

My wish for you. Have a great trip. Pet a lot of animals. Enjoy the sights and the smells. And come back refreshed.

Love the birds

Meliors Simms said...

Have a wonderful holiday Gretel, and I wish you the very best of luck making your home-in-Devon dreams come true. You deserve it.

jamjar said...

Heres wishing you a lovely holiday, may the golden Devon sun shine for you, happy travelling!

Kim said...

I hope you have a lovely time in Devon Gretel, you so deserve a break now after all your hard work. Thanks for sharing such a sweet and moving story, it brought a lump to my throat.
Next time you need a break, you can come and stay at Oakmoon acres, althought it's not as nice as Devon :)

Take care

Kim x

natural attrill said...

I love those boxes with the labels inside, works looking fab G !
Hope you enjoy your hols, and that you get to live there again soon too.
Penny.

Janet said...

Dear Gretel...You Brits have such a way with words..you put tears in my eyes. Have a wonderful, well deserved holiday and come back to us refreshed.
your friend from across the pond,
Janet

green phoenix said...

Have a wonderful break, I hope you are pleasantly surprisedwith the property and fnd something wonderful.
x

Syren said...

Good luck. It seems just about everyone I know is starting out on a journey of some sort at the moment. May yours bring you everything your heart desires.

Frances said...

PG, those robins are absolutely wonderful. I so wish you an equally wonderful time in Devon. Unwind, discover connections, and may luck show you and Andy a potential new home in a place you'll love.

xo

Caroline B said...

Enjoy your week in the sunshine - may it be all you hope for.
C.x

locksparkfarm said...

I'm slow at putting two and two together (put it down to rain sogged brain and dealing with stock-in-a-flood!)and have now arrived there.

Your post made me think deeply, remember memories, touch nerves, feel warm and smiley.

Thank you for linking to my blog too.

The rain's dried up; the sun is out enjoy the show!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I am so happy for you. I wish you a most wonderful holiday and may you find the perfect house, incredibly underpriced!!

carolyn said...

Enjoy!

paula said...

So nice to see your old photo's :) hope you have a lovely time in Devon, and find a beautiful little house there soon x

Twiglet said...

That's a lovely blog and those robins are perfect!!

Frances Tyrrell said...

Dear PG, What a beautiful post, and touching photos of the younger artist. Remember in "A City of Bells", the children described as having "the eyes of children that are loved." This is the gift they gave you, and which you convey in your lovely creations now.

Sue said...

Have a fab time, Gretel! I really hope you find your dream home down there. We're in a similar boat... desperate to get southwest but now trapped where we are by the property crash. But we'll make it there....and so will you. :-))

Nan and =^..^= said...

Hi Gretel,
Very moving and reminds me so much of Joni Mitchell's "The Circle Game".
Wishing you all the best as you follow your dreams...
Looking forward to hearing about your holiday...sounds like a magical place.

Jackie said...

What a moving post. I hope you have a wonderful time for you for your Mum and your dad, and good luck with the house hunting.
x

Pearl said...

I so hope you are able to relax and enjoy your time away. I know your mom will be with you in spirit. I am sure she is very proud of all that you have accomplished with your creativity and art.
Take good care of yourself.
I was shopping our antique mall and came upon something that made me think of you.....It is on the way. Wanted to make you smile.

Hugs,

Liza said...

Best wishes for a lovely holiday back in your spiritual home! I love Devon too and hope to move west one day.

I am sure your mum and dad would be so pleased and proud that you are fulfilling your dreams and ambitions.

Elizabeth said...

Please, please let your dream come true if it possibly possibly can..
It would be so very wonderful
and you deserve it so much
and having chickens and doing country things is very important indeed.

Karen said...

I'm a little late reading this post, so I hope you 'had' a wonderful time in Devon, you certainly had the weather! and, I really hope that you do manage to fulfill your dream and get back there to live again very soon. x

Rowan said...

I'm late reading this post also, I hope you had a wonderful time in your beloved Devon and that it brought back a lot of happy memories.

Kim McBirnie said...

This must have been a difficult post to write - but what does come to mind is that as a mother myself, I am absolutely sure that both your parents would be immensely proud of the adult you have become. It can't have been an easy road to adulthood, but you have negotiated it to become the kind of person I hope my children grow in to.
Hope your holiday does you the world of good.
Kim xx

Gordon Fraser said...

Hope you have a lovely holiday Gretel!!

Bone*Head*Studios said...

P.G.
How very lucky for you to be able to go to a place so magical!!!
blessings,Flora

Merisi said...

I haven't gotten around to read my favorite blogs in such a long time that you are now already back from Devon, and I know about the outcome of your house search.

I was only yesterday talking to a dear friend, about life and how it opens doors often in the most desperate and unexpected moments. I am sure you already see the crack of light coming through and wish you the very very best in all you dream about. You are going to make it come true, I just know it!

Hugs,
Merisi

Those images of the country fair in the next post speak for themselves - they must mean so much to you, and I am so happy for you that you finally made it back!