By Mere and Wold

Not (if you know your Saki), By Mere Chance, the book that everyone denied having read.
But I digress already, sad to say. Wink and I are in her former home village of Mere, sitting by a log fire drinking tea. She’s doing very well but is tired. I know the four-hour drive home will be an ordeal and I’ve advised bed as soon as we arrive, I think she’ll need plenty of rest for a couple of days. Tim has volunteered to cook mushroom risotto for dinner, which will be a nice, soothing meal. This morning I caught a (metaphorical) spinning plate just before it fell, when I remembered using all the risotto rice a week or two ago, but not buying more. The Little Green (wholefood) shop is too small to allow customers in, so we stand just inside the door and we’re brought what we need – as long as we remember what that is. Actually seeing things jogs the memory. I used the last of the flaked almonds with Monday’s trout, so I called in when I left home to buy both.
I must start drawing again as soon as I’ve got time. I feel a bit daunted, somehow. “Just do it, it’s not a competition” really does help, oddly enough.

The house where we’re staying is really appealing but the layout is odd, so I asked Wink if she knew its history. Apparently, one end used to be a shop and the rest was two flats when her late friends bought it on their retirement, thirty-something years ago. The shop had already been converted into a home and the whole place was turned into one house. Coming in the rarely used front door, you’ve got the dining room to the left and a door at the end to a passageway and the kitchen. Turn right and you’ve got a music room/study, the drawing room and the morning room all leading into each other. Off the morning room is a back hall, the back door and the other end of the kitchen. I can’t quite put everything together in my head on a floor plan. Upstairs there are four bedrooms and two bathrooms and two long passages. It’s all a bit unusual, though it works very well. There’s a courtyard, not a proper garden with workshops and a big garage, which is ideal for the family who inherited it and live abroad, so stay when they visit. It’s very comfortable and they’re being so kind. Wink was a true and loving friend to their parents for many years and I know they’re happy to be able to help her in return. Anyway, tomorrow morning I’ll change the bed linen, make sure everything is clean and tidy and we’ll be off back home.

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