When I was a small girl, from aged about nine, I used to help our neighbours by minding their sheep on the top of Okeford hill. Yes, really. My first job was as a shepherdess. The sheep belonged to Sarah, but at lambing time she needed help from her husband, David, who moonlighted from farming as a geography teacher in the local school. This meant that the lambs needed to be timed to start arriving at the very beginning of the Easter holidays. So, in years when Easter came near the start of March, it was very, very cold for the new lambs. We even had little orange lamb-macs for them.
But for us, David had a shepherd’s hut. It was just like the one in this picture, although I remember his being a rather handsome shade of blue. When it got too cold out on the hillside, we would retreat into the hut and light the stove. Some of my happiest memories are of huddling around that wood-burner, listening to the wind howl across the hill and thrum against the tin roof.
I e-mailed the latest revision of Mr R to Jocasta today. There were no big changes really to this draft. A few prudent cuts. A bit like the budlia and fuchsias that Collin has been pruning in the garden. But it’s off to the copy editor now. (The m/s not the fuchsia, as that would be silly). I’ll get it back from the copy editor in a couple of weeks and then onto the final polishes.
Mr S and I are off to NYC next week, and then onto LA for a month after that. It will be a pleasant mixture of business and holiday, and I will keep blogging as I go.