Sunday, 2 November 2008

Peace and quiet


One of the most satisfying parts of home ed is that, at a whim, you can follow what you need to do, drag the children behind you, and call it a project on history. Or geography. Or something. Anything. You don't need to ask the permission of any head teacher, fill in any form, or persuade anyone of the merits of the fantasy you are following. Except Squirrel, and she can be bribed with a cuddle and four squares of chocolate.

Which means that today, I call up Big Bro, tell him we are heading his way with sleeping bags and heavy woollen blankets, then I pack the kids in the car and drive off to the beautiful countryside that is Suffolk. On the journey, we stop at one of the places on all this earth that never fails to provide me with heart's ease, and that is here, at West Stow, amongst the Anglo Saxons.

West Stow is a treasure. The gentle hill rises and falls and curves round the river, and sunk into the ground on the brow are post holes; the earth memory of people who dug, grew, lived, toiled and died here hundreds of years ago. And at this site, houses have been carefully and slowly rebuilt in an experimental reconstruction. Today the houses, made of oak, ash, hazel, send out thin wisps of black smoke, coiling round the thatch, because on many weekends, the reenactors come here and live, with the fires, the farm, the river. I know why. The peacefulness is almost tangible; only the bird cries and the pig snuffles through the shuffling leaves and the wind moving over the Lark valley. When I turn round the corner of the path that leads up through the houses, I don't see or feel my denim jeans or Squirrel's bobbing angora hat. I am time transported to weather beaten faces, loose woollen cloaks, soil-marked fingernails and heavy leather shoes, beating up the path, back home.

8 comments:

Potty Mummy said...

It sounds a world away from where I am now...

BTW, it would be great if you would take part in the Best of British Carnival of Bloggers I'm hosting next week. You don't need an invitation (just in case anyone else is interested), just e-mail a link to your favourite post of the last 4 weeks to pottymummy@gmail.com and I'll be in touch.

sharon said...

Bet it's bloody cold, damp and draughty in those huts at night though!

Mud in the City said...

The fresh air and peace & quiet sound like bliss.

I might have to pack a hot water bottle though.

mamacrow said...

wow, looks gorgeus. strange - atmosphere of places - isn't it? There's a beach in cornwall that, even with lots of other people on it, is (for some reason) the most peaceful place in the world. you can just hear your bloodpressure falling down points.

Mean Mom said...

It does sound attractive doesn't it? Peace and quiet. Simpler times.

The only thing that's putting me off, at the moment, is the 'weather beaten faces' remark. Would I be allowed to take a moisturiser? (Don't suggest goose fat, either. I know how your mind works!)

Em said...

and then you come out, the girls go shrieking accross the carpark and you can't get them off the rainbow coloured very tall climbing thingie in the park whilst you sit on a bench slowly turning into an ice-grit?

Maybe thats just when we go.

Grit said...

thank you for your comments, all.

atm, pm, i am on a post-it-and-run but will come back and check it out soon.

mamacrow said...

mean mom - coconut oil is AMAZING and CHEEP!