Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Friday, March 2, 2012

Scenes From Village Life

John Hillaby once wrote "Few things are more pleasant than a village graced with a good church, a good priest and a good pub.” I would add to that a labyrinth of lovely walking trails, a little town square with a enchanting cluster of shops and perhaps also a decent newsagent, cafe and grocery store (although my partner would add a good wine/beer store), and finally, a hamlet of gorgeous houses of all shapes and size, each with their own unique style and their unique garden, so you could walk a different route each day and never tire of the architecture and charm.

We are getting ready to leave our idyllic little village. It will be a shock to move to a city of 20 million people. I'm sure we'll miss walking our dogs down the middle of the road knowing there are no cars in sight, or waving to our neighbours over the garden gate, and stopping for a chat about the best way to cultivate peonies, or care for espaliered pears. So, as a small photographic tribute to the delights of village life, I thought I'd post some of my favourite scenes here.

Even the village church takes its gardens seriously. 

Our road dressed in the bright green of new spring leaves.

Our kitchen garden, with the leaves burning in the sun behind it.

Our pitiful harvest from the kitchen garden last year.

Our neighbour's house, 'Longacre'. This was once the home of the famous Australian painter Arthur Streeton. It's now owned by his grandson. The driveway is lined with blue hydrangeas, which look glorious in high summer. You can't see the house but it's an Arts and Crafts-style cottage and still has Streeton's old studio in the rear.

Walking the dogs through the forest.


  1. You will miss it!!!!!
    Are you keeping the house? 'Cause Millie, Kate and I were going to be your first guests!!!
    How is the devirusing going?
    J xxx

  2. Meant to say I did like your vegetable harvest 5 better than me!!!! and I am missing your gorgeous comment replies! xxx J

  3. What a wonderful place to live, so peaceful and rural.

    I am sure you will miss the countrylife, but will find so many new adventures in the city.

  4. You take such great photos.
    I think it would be wonderful to live somewhere rural and peaceful, but with a click of my heels be in the "big smoke".
    Best of luck with the move, hope the "assistant librarians" are coping with the upheaval.

  5. Hi Jules,
    I'm so sorry for not commenting. Blogger has introduced this silly Word Verification and I'm not happy. It's no longer easy for readers to leave comments and I'm feel awful about it.
    Then again, people don't really have the time to comment any more. The stats might be high but people are coming and going quietly!
    J xx

  6. PS Yes, we've decided to sell. We were going to rent it out as a weekender - it was going to be The Old Library House and we were going to leave all our books here for guests to read - but it's just so big and the garden is so huge. It's not really feasible. It's a little heartbreaking really, as I had decorated it accordingly. But we'll open another Library House hotel somewhere else! We would love to see you! (And you won't be paying to stay either! Special blog readers don't pay.)
    J xx

  7. Thanks Nana and Claire,
    So lovely to hear from you, as always. So glad you like the pix of village life.
    I do miss city living and am looking forward to a little fix of New York in May.
    And yes, the puppies are a touch anxious. They're watching all the potential buyers traipse through the place with a nervous look in their eyes! Poor things.
    Janelle x

  8. Sniffle, sniffle....I can so relate to your heartfelt observations of living & leaving the hill station life, it's hard to beat. But moving right along mate, make up the spare beds in the new pad pronto 'cos Jules, Kate & I will be over quick smart to check it out.
    Millie xx


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