Home Life

Rebecca Syndrome

I can produce all sorts of excellent literary reasons as to why I love Daphne du Maurier’s 1937 novel Rebecca: that extraordinary tale of a gauche, very young, second wife having to take on not only the running of a famously beautiful Cornish country house but the uncannily vital memory of her predecessor, Rebecca. I first […]

It’s Not About The Journey or Travelling With Small Children

It began, as much chaos does, with the supermarket shop. I am not, I tell husband firmly, spending our precious holiday traipsing round said supermarket shopping for nappies or baked beans or tinned tomatoes, or bread or sugar lumps. We are renting a house for the week in Cornwall and we will take these boring […]

Hot House

  ‘And don’t,’ urged James*, our land agent, as we crunched the numbers on a biomass heating system once again, ‘underestimate the benefit of a warm house’. We were sitting in the dining room, freezing cold; all farm meetings happen in here and, in those days, they tended to stick to the point. The electric […]

A Happy Christmas or A Merry Christmas?

So, after my last post, I’m sure you understand why I did not approach Christmas with the full Dickensian appreciation this year. Indeed there were a few Scrooge moments and one of them occurred in a local bookshop, whose proprietor kindly wished me ‘Happy Holidays’. I really must perfect a response to this: ‘Happy Saturnalia’ […]

Last Words

About this time last year I was reading aloud to my mother as she lay in the final 24 hours of terminal cancer. I read a lot to her in the last ten days. By the time you get to that point, you feel that everything that comes out of your mouth ought to be […]

Fireplace of books, Pittleworth Manor, Hampshire

Hoisted On My Own Petard

  I just had to write it down, (or type it up) didn’t I? I had to go and call this house A Manor of Reading — and, if I’m honest, I was quite pleased with the name — but Pittleworth has reacted as if it had been written into being by J K Rowling; […]

Home Life Blog Pittleworth Manor Stockbridge Winchester

A Manor of Reading

So, here it is: the new website; those of you who saw the old one will realise at least one fundamental reason why I changed it. I think we can all agree that my previous effort had the technological flare of a wedged gerbil’s wheel and a distressing tendency to cut photographs off at the […]