August was a surprisingly lovely month for me. Visiting my mother in Seaford – the first time we had come face to face since before lockdown – was a lot of fun and it was so great to take her out to enjoy the fresh air.
She lives in a lovely part of Sussex and my favourite place, that I always make a point of visiting, is the beautiful village of Alfriston which sits in the Cuckmere Valley.
My best loved shop is Objet Trouvé, where you can find all sorts of brilliant and unusual things: usually of no practical value but guaranteed to be a talking point. And, this time, I discovered a new shop that has opened which I now love equally. I think we need a drum roll: Home Spun Botanics.
Unusual and Enchanting Plants
Her unique offering is hand-made moss balls from which plants grow. I bought a Maidenhair Vine or Muehlenbeckia which is a delightful addition to my kitchen windowsill. I have to keep it there so I notice it everyday and make sure it doesn’t dry out as it is a thirsty little plant. It also likes gentle sunlight for a few hours each day – much like myself.
My mum was so taken with it that we went back to get another one for her. The owner didn’t have one in her little shop but promised to deliver the little darling to my mother’s door the following week. (This is good news because Mum finds the roads a bit too narrow in Alfriston so she’s not keen on driving there.) Mum now has her vine and has very wisely called it Beckie.
Back in Suffolk we had a visit from Tony’s daughter and his two grandchildren which all went splendidly. They stayed in an Airbnb in a nearby village which apparently didn’t live up to its country cottage billing but instead was more seventies build on an estate. The evening meal each day was a chance for a glass of wine and to put the world to rights which I think we achieved admirably. The highlight was perhaps the day we had a meal at The Weeping Willow where we had the raspberry room all to ourselves (very pink but never mind); visited Tony’s brother, Derek and wife, Jenny, who furnished us with tasty ice-creams and afternoon tea; then a walk in the grounds of Ickworth with their dog Ruby who delighted us time and time again as she hurriedly retrieved a ball from the river and returned it to her owner, getting Derek pretty wet in the process.
Another first since lockdown: we went to the cinema
Abbeygate, in Bury St Edmunds is a very special cinema and our favourite by far. They have got admirable social distancing measures in place so we felt safe throughout. We saw the film Hope Gap with Bill Nighy and Annette Benning and it was truly excellent – thoroughly enjoyed by both The Grey and moi. It was made even better because it was filmed in Seaford very close to where my mother lives and so an area we know very well. There where lots of oohs and ahs going on in row E.