Last Day of July

31 Jul

I cannot believe how quickly July has gone! Tomorrow is August, the holiday month, especially out here in France where the whole place just seems to shut down. This weekend is meant to be the busiest on the roads. The transition from July into August. Paris becomes empty of Parisians and, instead, fill up their countries other smaller towns fit to bursting.

Here, in Brittany, it is quite nice in some ways to see so many people, but always a pain when the car park is full. I asked some Parisian friends of ours why they never go abroad for their holidays but, instead, choose to holiday in their own country.’ Why go anywhere else when there is so much to see here?’ was basically the answer and in some ways you have to agree with them.

We have just got back from England. We went to Dorset in search of a new place to live. The ‘next chapter’. Having been away from the UK for over 7 years l was pleasantly surprised to find a corner of ‘our green and pleasant land’ relatively undisturbed, in fact, it was thriving. A new phenomenon ‘Farmers Markets’ were everywhere, ‘eat local produce’ was the big thing being promoted, and there was an overwhelming feeling of pride in the small towns we visited. Pride in their local individual shops selling locally produced meat, fish, beer, vegetables, dairy products and bread, mostly organic too.  Pride in their music and arts, their local fetes and festivals. As l looked around me it was refreshing to see so many people supporting their independent shops and keeping the supermarkets at bay.

Interesting too to see so many people on holiday in England. I am sure l would have been met with the same answer from the Parisian if l had asked someone in Dorset why they had not gone abroad for their holidays. Rose-tinted spectacles off, l am fully aware of the economic situation too but that is what makes my ‘discoveries’ so much more interesting. Despite all the cut-backs, job losses, etc, England’s small towns are fighting back. And l didn’t want to leave!

Railway Carriage Charm

We stayed in an old Railway Carriage in Eype that had been converted into a beautiful place to live, complete with kitchen area, living/dining room, a double bedroom, dressing area and bathroom. We loved it and as it was my birthday and our 25th wedding anniversary too, it made it a special place to be.

Back to reality, and here in France l have been scouring the internet for work in Dorset. There are a number of options open to us just as there were when we came to France, after all, if we could build up a small gardening business here, l am sure we could do the same back in England.  I would turn my hand to most things so l am quite hopeful something will come along.

The garden was like a jungle by the time we got back but just in time to start picking the first of the runner beans, one of my favourite vegetables. Finely sliced and boiled there is nothing better on a plate along with a knob of butter gently melting among them. I will miss my vegetable plot as our cottage we have rented in Dorset only has a small courtyard. Still, as it is a winter let it will be nice to have a break from looking after such a big garden for a while and to concentrate my efforts on making a living as well as exploring the beautiful countryside and Farmers Markets!

So, where does this leave me with this blog? Very soon l won’t have a garden to compare with the writings of Mr Middleton every week which, in a way, spoils the whole concept of this blog. I am thinking of still writing up his weekly gardening advice and just adding my own thoughts and other practical tips from other books instead? What do you think?

Some of the second-hand books l found in charity shops

It’s another lovely day out there so l had better tackle that jungle. I don’t want to leave our new owner a mess to deal with when he takes over in September. After all, us Brits do have a gardening reputation to keep to!


Posted by on July 31, 2011 in Gardens, July


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20 responses to “Last Day of July

  1. elaine rickett

    July 31, 2011 at 09:30

    Hope everything goes well for you – I shall miss reading your blogs if you do stop, it would be such a shame. I personally would still like to read Mr. Middleton plus your own views. Keep up the good work is what I say.

  2. trevorhunt

    July 31, 2011 at 11:02

    Thanks Elaine. I doubt l will stop altogether. Its too much fun to stop totally.

  3. Janet/Plantaliscious

    July 31, 2011 at 13:31

    Dorset does seem to be particularly crammed with Farmers Markets etc doesn’t it. Lovely area of the country to settle, hope you find a satisfying way to make your living. As to the blogging, are you going to be buying somewhere with a garden eventually? Perhaps in the mean time you could keep this blog going as a way of keeping in touch, combine the wartime advice with the modern version plus your experience, keep us posted about your transition back to Blighty, and then start a brand new blog when you eventually have space to garden in again?

    • trevorhunt

      August 3, 2011 at 08:11

      Thanks Janet. Yes, we both want a garden again but nothing quite so big as we have now. I insist on having a vegetable plot, however big or small. As to this blog l didn’t want to ‘cheat’ on anybody by only writing up on Mr Middleton without being able to compare with what is going on in my garden. I like your idea of using this blog to keep in touch. Just hope you don’t get bored!
      Hopefully we will be in our new home by April so just in time for the growing season! Watch this space……

  4. chicaandaluza

    July 31, 2011 at 22:58

    Hi Trevor and so good to have you back in blogland! Please, please don´t stop blogging – even if you just tell us what you are up to as you settle into Dorset life. I think if I had to move back to the UK it´s where I´d head too (huge secret crush on Hugh FW aside)! I have the Make Do and Mend book – it´s brilliant. I know you´ll now be leaving your lovely garden, but try to enjoy the time you have left there. Belated birthday and anniversary greetings – looks like a fabulous place you stayed. Looking forward to your next post (hint, hint), Tanya

    • trevorhunt

      August 3, 2011 at 08:17

      Hi Tanya, Thank you for your kind words.
      A crush on Hugh hey!!! We saw him driving into Bridport while we were there. I am going to see if l can work at his Axminster Canteen. Will let you know. I will have to set myself a budget on what l spend on old books but l did have some remarkable finds. I will continue this blog as l was explaining to Janet. Too much hard work has gone into this to just drop it. And l have ‘met’ so many nice people on here. I will do my best.

  5. Petra Hoyer Millar

    August 1, 2011 at 10:19

    Hello Trevor,

    Please do continue the blog, and providing us with Mr Middleton’s words of wisdom! Best of luck, and look forward to reading the next installment!

    • trevorhunt

      August 3, 2011 at 08:19

      Hi Petra, Good to hear from you. As l have already explained, l will continue with the blog, albeit in a slightly different format. Hope you all want to hear about life in Dorset!

  6. Simon baldwin

    August 2, 2011 at 15:42

    Hi Trevor,

    I have only just discovered your blog through Dave’s ‘The anxious gardener’ and unfortunately it seems to be a bit late. I have just read through the first few posts, and it is quite fantastic reading!!! I am really keen to read the whole thing when i get a minute now, but at the same time quite sad that you are sort of winding it down.
    Anyway, i hope you keep posting in one way or another, and many thanks for giving me this excellent blog and huge amount of info to get into!!


    • trevorhunt

      August 3, 2011 at 08:23

      Hi Simon and many thanks for your kind words. You have spurred me on to continue writing! I still feel l have so much else to write about on here regarding life in Britain during the Second World War. Maybe once we have settled back in Blighty l will have more time to focus on those subjects. In the meantime l will write a few posts on the garden here before l finally leave France. Its all a bit sad!

  7. Rosemary London

    August 3, 2011 at 07:44

    Please Please continue,your blog is excellent !!

    • trevorhunt

      August 3, 2011 at 08:25

      Thank you Rosemary!! It is words of encouragement like yours that have made me realise l must continue. Churchill never gave up nor shall l!!!!

  8. katie

    August 3, 2011 at 13:49

    Hi Trevor, just wanted to say good luck with everything and please please pretty please carry on with your blog. Thank you.
    Again, good luck and wishing you all the best. Katie

    • trevorhunt

      August 3, 2011 at 18:34

      Ha ha…okay, as you have asked so nicely!!!! Very kind.

  9. Donna

    August 3, 2011 at 15:27

    Trevor I do hope you will keep the blog going until you settle into a new garden…it is too wonderful to not keep it going…

    • trevorhunt

      August 3, 2011 at 18:35

      Thank you Donna. I will do my best. Promise!

  10. Rachael

    August 5, 2011 at 14:19

    Good luck with your move and can I recommend a title I am reading at the moment called ‘Sucking Eggs – What your Wartime Granny could teach you about diet, thrift and going green’ by Patricia Nicol. It’s all about rationing. It might add to your inspiration but I’m not sure whether you would find it second hand yet.

    • trevorhunt

      August 5, 2011 at 23:07

      Thank you Rachael and thanks for the suggestion. I have added it to my cart on Amazon as it looks just the sort of book l would get inspiration from. Don’t tell my wife as l am on strict instructions ‘No More Books!’ No such thing!

  11. Damo

    August 5, 2011 at 22:13

    Good luck with the move Trevor, you’ve certainly chosen a lovely part of England to settle back to. We’re fortunate not to live too far away, the Dorset Coast path is one my favourite walks and the highlight of the county for me.

    • trevorhunt

      August 5, 2011 at 23:11

      Hi Damo, Great to know you won’t be too far away. We have a 6 month rental near Bridport to start with but not sure where we will end up. Hopefully close by as we love it there. I will give you a shout when we have settled in and maybe you can introduce me to one or two of your watering holes…after a good walk on the coastal path, of course!


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