Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Country life

Even though we have lived in a quiet lane surrounded by fields, with only a handful of neighbours, we now feel that we really have moved into the country. Before, as soon as we had cycled a couple of minutes, we were soon in a hodge-podge of lanes and houses built hugger-mugger, cottages tucked away almost in people's tiny back gardens.

Here, we have neighbours on each side, audible but not visible. Otherwise, huge fields stretch behind and in front of us, behind a bungalow, a stretch of land to the cliff edge.
Five minutes walk takes us to the coastal path.

Birds of prey have become a common part of our lives. Honey buzzards wheeling overhead, calling shrilly - one day, several pairs of them circling above the house. Harriers swoop low over the hedges. An owl perched on a post at sunset. And, sadly, today a blackbird's carcass on the lawn, evidence of a sudden aerial attack.

We face south, so we see sunrises in one direction, sunsets in the other. A ten minute drive to the beach saw us surfing as the sun fell behind the clouds into the sea. Sleeping this week has been interrupted by huge moons rising over the garden.
We explored many of the lanes over the summer, sometimes so narrow that a car creeps along, kissing the hedgerows on either side.

Cutting our hedge in company with our nearest neighbours resulted in a delightful impromptu tea invitation, coming home laden with home-grown tomatoes and courgettes. We bump into acquaintances as we walk the dog; others, already living in this remote part of Guernsey, invite us to supper.

Torteval is beginning to feel more like home.

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