Having looked at a few  blogs I realise that photographs and not much text are the most enjoyable…for me, anyway. I’ve always found it difficult to be brief with pen in hand, so I hope this approach will reform me. Here is a photograph of my front door, a suitable beginning.

The date stone (unreadable because it’s only about the tenth photo I’ve ever taken) is 1633. In this year (for those who were staring out of the window during lessons on the Civil War) Charles I’s enemies were just grumbling in dark corners.  Charles’s second son (James II) and Samuel Pepys … who were to have so much to do with each other … were born, 8 months apart. Also in this year the Pope obliged Gallileo, under threat of torture, to retract his assertion that the earth orbited the sun rather than the other way round. (In 1992 the Vatican admitted they had been wrong.)

Our house, though called The Manor House, is really just a farmhouse.  The double height porch is typical of the early 17th century.  Traditionally the little room above was where stewards or agents did their book-keeping.  For 13 years I’ve been meaning to remove the winter jasmine around the door because it’s too rampant and dreary for 46 weeks of the year. But then, in the coldest weather the little yellow stars come out so I let it live. Also it covers a bodged bit of 20th century  grouting.  Not an impossible eyesore to correct and I can’t think why I haven’t. Could this be the year?  The front door is painted in Farrow and Ball’s Castle Grey.