There is nothing in this whole, wide world quite so civilised or
quite so quintessentially British, with the exception perhaps
of Harvest Festival, than to participate in the glorious ritual of
Sunday morning deep in rural England.
It's even better if you're a house guest!
Let me walk you through it. A quick boost of the lekkie blanket to
ensure the bed is still nice and warm for your return, barefoot,
from the bathroom.
That brief glimpse of a cock pheasant on the lawn and a family
of distant deer grazing in the back field as you open the
curtains - unhurriedly - then back into your pit.
Let the day commence.
Moments pass in silence, then there's the sound of footsteps on
the landing, a knock at the door - the breakfast tray has arrived.
Porridge just right, toast, Oxford marmalade and a steaming
hot mug of Twining's finest Earl Grey tea.
All this accompanied by my chum Rodney, the stunt double cat,
who seamlessly blends himself into the duvet taking up
half the bed in so doing.
There are jolly voices coming from the lane - an almost
obligatory group of horsey mum's and their noisy sprogs out
for an early hack before Morning Service. All kitted out from
top to toe in the finest riding apparel Harrods has to offer.
The newspapers arrive - all three stone of them - accounting for
the loss of at least a small copse of trees at even the most
conservative of estimates. They're heavy to manoeuvre but
light to read and a pleasant hour simply drifts by filled with
international news, fashion, celebrity gossip, sport and
gardening tips in abundance.
Have you completed your double digging yet Charlie dear?
Don't leave it too long or Easter will be upon us before you know it.
And then the moment I've been waiting for all morning .......
just before 11am comes the sound of church bells drifting
across the meadow on the breeze.
|The Parish Church of All Sins, Hadem-on-the-Hill if I'm not mistaken.|
I lay back and, being in England, try not to think of France
and what may, or may not, be happening in my absence.
All that can wait. This is a moment to savour,
to puff out my chest with pride, to shed a small tear
when no one is looking .........
Why all this unaccustomed emotion - because there's a member of
Clan Long Dog dear reader high up in the belfry hanging on
for dear life to the rope of that very big bell which goes