Sunday: a day of relaxation; stress-free; leisure; time to explore. Let’s start off with a little bit about where I am now living, since I didn’t spend enough time describing it yesterday, what with all the paperwork I had to complete; learning how this new laptop works and general cleaning and sorting through all my returned possessions.
This is the first glimpse I had of my new home when I arrived late on Friday evening. The black patch (bottom, middle) was full of water from the recent rain and everything looked dark and ominous. It was nothing like what I had expected, nothing like what I have been used to in my life so far. Apparently, many years ago, the animals used to live in the house too; the double green doors were the main entrance and, inside, there were stalls to left and right with a large clear area in the center. The family lived at the far end of the open-plan room, where they had their kitchen fire and eating area. Right at the back of the house were the bedrooms; small, poky affairs where the beds were enclosed in cupboards and heating was whatever you took under the covers with you. Some of the farmhouses, I am told, still have the same layout in the main buildings, but this large area is used for tractors, cars and field equipment. Most families now have separate houses to live in, and the farm animals have stalls and pens closer to the fields. Our living quarters areÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â behind the newer building tucked in to the left and have more comfort than you might first imagine; we don’t need to share any space with any living creatures aside from the occasional mouse, a few spiders and several flies!
This is a view from the other side, where you can see how run down the whole is. Since the farm is no longer a running concern these buildings are either empty, or filled with the detritus of years gone by: rusting farm machinery; bales of moldy hay; general rubbish and broken furniture. I will probably photograph this area again one afternoon, when the sun falls across the buildings, even so, with these shadows, it gives a good impression of decay and neglect. Since the old couple no longer work the farm, and don’t have the finances, everything has been left as it was the day the finally gave up and succumbed to the demands of the bank.
The rest of the village, which is spread out across a very large area, consists of other farmhouses and open fields. I have uploaded a few more photographs to my Facebook albumÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â where you can see some of the animals and a few other nearby buildings; amongst others a watermill which has been in use since about 1810 and in the same family since the early sixteenth century but which is now used, partially, as a stall for pigs. I had a fascinating conversation with the owner – and his over-friendly dog – and learned that there has been a watermill on this site since the ninth century. It is harvest time, and many of the crop fields have been cut already or are waiting their turn. The area used to be famous for pigs, but now has fewer pigs and more sheep and cows; I took a look at one of the pig farms but the dear little things were too far away to get a decent photograph.
This afternoon, once I have finished the last batch of paperwork for my course, I hope to get out to the nearest town where, I am told, there are plenty of ancient brick and timber houses and a cathedral with two towers. This town also has a long and interesting history, having been founded by a monk whose donkey stumbled and fell which he, being a typical religious man who believed in mystical signs from heaven, took to be an indication that he ought to build a church on the site.
Love & Kisses, Viki.