Hampshire Life - - Inside -

Is hop­ing sum­mer never ends

A sum­mer haze has de­scended on Mar­got HQ and she doesn’t want it to end

There is some­thing about the com­ings and go­ings which makes sum­mer for me. I love a full house; friends de­scend­ing on us from far flung cor­ners and chil­dren, dogs and grown-ups turn­ing feral in the farm­house gar­den for a week­end or two. This sum­mer has been no ex­cep­tion. The cal­en­dar has been brim­ming for weeks. From those turn­ing up to help with the laven­der har­vest to oth­ers call­ing in for the night to break up jour­neys planned from Land’s End to John O’Groats; it’s been won­der­ful to rem­i­nisce mo­ments of youth, rekin­dle long held friend­ships and watch new ones blos­som amongst the next gen­er­a­tion. Look­ing at the tribe of chil­dren (and a vast pack of dogs) run­ning round the gar­den, it’s hard to re­mem­ber a time with­out them all. When did we be­come so grown up?

The farm­house isn’t fin­ished by any means but it’s been mar­vel­lous to fill it with the sound of laugh­ter, wine slosh­ing into glasses and chil­dren play­ing. Luck­ily old friends don’t mind the an­cient plumb­ing, rus­tic farm­house look and lack of mod­cons, and mirac­u­lously the farm­house has coped with an end­less stream of guests ap­pear­ing and dis­ap­pear­ing. Rooms have trans­formed tardis-like to ac­com­mo­date more mat­tresses on floors or squish ex­tra bod­ies around the ta­ble at break­fast time, and I’ve never had a bet­ter ex­cuse to chan­nel my in­ner Ma Larkin. There have been happy times in the kitchen with feasts pre­pared with many hands, plenty of chat and mu­sic blar­ing. It is al­most un­think­able that a sum­mer here in Hamp­shire could end up be­ing as glo­ri­ous as hol­i­days spent abroad, but this year cer­tainly hasn’t dis­ap­pointed. I’ve even man­aged the odd af­ter­noon read­ing a good book or two in the ham­mock Jerry bought me for my birth­day. Sheer bliss!

To be hon­est, I’m not sure what’s come over us. The farm­house seems to have had some sort of mag­i­cal ef­fect on us all. Not only have Jerry and I man­aged to leave our desks for a while to en­joy the sun­shine – al­most un­heard of in Jerry’s case - but push­ing their usual squab­bles to one side, the girls have sur­prised me with a sum­mer of sib­ling love. Where’s the usual coun­try­side chaos I hear you ask? Per­haps it’s been spir­ited off on its sum­mer hols too, dear Reader?

Dens ga­lore in the gar­den, we even have our own fes­ti­val chic in the form of a makeshift glamp­ing site now, cour­tesy of Poppy and Prim­rose. Heaps of bunting, some old chintz cush­ions and strings of so­lar fairy lights have trans­formed a bat­tered old tent to cre­ate their own se­cret camp. I’m not sure there’s any­thing left in their bed­rooms as it all seems to have mi­grated to the tent, but you’ll find no com­plaints here, dear Reader. Plan­ning clan­des­tine club meet­ings, se­cret pass­words and af­ter­noon raids on the pantry – it’s brought hours of fun. Child­hood un­plugged as they say. Who knew the girls could stop bick­er­ing for more than five min­utes flat? Magic, in­deed. Al­though I wish they’d stop steal­ing all the ice lol­lies.

It’s true to say that this holiday has been hard to beat. Even the ducks have been on their best be­hav­iour, so there re­ally must have been some witch­craft afoot. As Septem­ber rolls in, I can’t bear the thought of a new school year and wrestling the girls out of bed once more. I can’t believe I am say­ing it but I re­ally don’t want sum­mer to end. The time just seems to have gal­loped away. Any chance you might be able to slow it down, dear Reader? I’d rather like to re­turn to my ham­mock.

Read more: You can read Mar­got’s blog at mar­got­tri­es­the­ and fol­low her an­tics on twit­ter @mar­got­goodlife.You can also find out more about Mar­got on her pro­file at hamp­shire­

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