Monday, 16 November 2009

The Dunsfold Seven

In my last but one post, I talked about how much I love London - and I really do - but the pace of life is so relentless, and so much can change in such a short period of time, that getting away every once and a while is the only way to maintain a healthy outlook on things. So after what can only be described as a challenging week, I was very much looking forward to a weekend in the countryside with a bunch of good friends. A while back we arranged a trip to a village called Dunsfold in Surrey (they film Top Gear there), where one of my friend's granny's lives (Granule), and the timing for the trip from my point of view couldn't have been better. Her home is a lovely rambling yet cosy place, with room for all seven of us.

But this year's trip didn't get off to the best of starts. Firstly, I was awoken by a full-on thunderstorm; not a great weather prospect for frolicking in fields. Then, having decided to treat myself to a massive bowl of steaming porridge for breakfast since I never did get round to dinner the night before, I discovered that water was dripping into the kitchen from the newly-occupied flat above. So I met my new neighbours in my pyjamas to introduce myself and request - as cheerfully as possible - they switch off their shower, like, now. Which they promptly did, and they called out a plumber straight away to fix the problem. Legends.

After the morning's dramas I donned my trusty cagoule and wellies and hotstepped it from London and its related stresses as fast as I could. I'm so glad I did. The torrential rain cleared just in time for a bracing walk around the village and the surrounding area. The wind was still ferocious - strong enough to lean into without falling over - and we even saw a massive tree uprooted before our eyes, blocking the country road (we called the necessary people). Quite a sad moment in hindsight, as the tree must have been hundreds of years old. We returned to Granule's in time for tea and brownies around the roaring fireplace. A jumbo crossword and a game of cheat later and it was time for fireworks! Granted, a week late, but it's part of what is fast becoming an annual tradition (we made the same trip this time last year).

On our Sunday morning walk we splashed in giant puddles, saw a beautiful rainbow, made friends with a couple of horses....then stumbled across a crime scene! I don't want to go into too much detail as it's obviously still a live case, but we had to call the police and everything. A proper mystery straight out of an Enid Blyton book, but a traumatic experience for the victim no doubt.

So now I'm back in London. Back to reality. But with a renewed energy, thanks to a perfect weekend full of simple, wholesome pleasures, and the magnificent seven people I shared it with, including the irrepressible Granule.

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