Friday, 25 September 2009

Wanna Buy a House? Or Hear a Poem?


I have a bit of a lower back problem today. Every so often something 'clicks' at the end of my spine. It is something I just have to let take its course and heal itself. Tried chiropractors and osteopaths in the past but they have not helped speed this pain away.

So today I took a slow stroll along a track to a much neglected area of the estate. The first stop was at the old bothy. A neighbour nearby says it was once 'the Lodge', but that must have been 40 or more years ago by the looks of the place.

Almost next to it is a large walled garden. It is about the size of two football pitches and was once tended by half a dozen gardeners of varying grades. I have a photo of this walled garden as it was in the days of the 12th Earl of Haddington. I shall have to try to dig it out.

Today it is massively overgrown. Nature hates a vacuum so she has filled this space with trees and bushes; almost impenetrable now.

Whilst standing there in that now overgrown jungle I thought I'd mention William Henry Davies who wrote the poem 'Leisure'. Many will know the first two lines at least which, today, are still as meaningful as when he wrote them in the 20th century.

I met my neighbour, Alice from the east lodge cottage on my way back. She had 'Flossie' with her, an elderly border collie. Flossie's owner is a midwife who lives in a cottage a few doors from me but has gone to Canada for a year and had to leave Flossie with Alice. I am sometimes allowed to take Flossie for a walk. As she is about as old as me, in doggy years, our walkies are gentle strolls; she doesn't pull when on the lead and she doesn't dash off when the lead is taken off. A lovely old gal, but I think she misses her 'mum' who's in Canada for another 6 months at least.



Land of shimp said...

Philip, I think you became the living definition of English restraint when you said, "The roof could use a bit of work...". Oh my goodness, you were making me laugh.

I've never heard of a Bothy before, but that place does seem rather sizable...and...airy ;-) Someone with vision is needed.

I've heard the first poem before, and always like it. Very atmospheric, having you recite it, as the wind blew! The second was unknown to me, but I did enjoy your eulogy of Davies! "....and he had only. one. leg."

Poor Flossie, what a good girl. Hopefully her person will return soon!

Star said...

I enjoyed your videos Philip and the poetry reading. I love having poetry read to me. Flossie is gorgeous and yes, she does look a bit winsome, doesn't she. Dogs are such good company.
Blessings, Star

Argent said...

Aah, what stories those old bothy-stones might tell! I think they use the word bothy in Ireland too for little places like that. I'm amazed no-one's thought to develop it into a holiday cottage or something. Flossie is a dear old thing - I could not leave my two cats behind for anything! Much enjoyment today from your mini-tour. Hope the back clears up soon.

The Bug said...

Poor Flossie - she looks so depressed! Loved the bothy - & the poem. We would do well to stand & stare more often!

Monkey Man said...

Salubrious!! Very nice. In my corner of the world we call this a fixer upper.

C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson said...

Very much enjoyed your post. The bothy would be called a "fixer upper" here in the states. Do hope your back mends quickly, they can be very challenging at times.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't pick up the video--lost my cookies, heh.
But the writing is beautiful. So English.


nollyposh said...

A beautiful ~stroll~ Thankyou so much for the tour Philip... How amazing it is to me that you can visit such history while on a little local walk ~sigh~

Angelina said...


You married the perfect poem to illustrate how we sometimes don't see what is there in front of us...

The first two lines of Davies poem is as relevant today as it was when it was written.

"What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare."

Shadow said...

sweet flossie... and what a nice poem, thank you!

Lynn said...

A nice "handyman's special" here in North Carolina. But what charm it must have had in it's old life.

And speaking of charm. As I sit here on a rainy Saturday morning I was, as usual, mesmerized by your voice.

PhilipH said...

Thank you all for popping by and leaving your generous comments.

I'm off to see some friends now, just a couple of beers and a chat so I'll bid you all a cheery cheerio.

Have a nice relaxing weekend if you possibly can.


lovelyprism said...

That's what we'd call a "fixer upper" with "good bones". Hmm that's also a little bit how I think of myself!

willow said...

The term "bothy" is new to me. I am drawn to abandoned buildings. They have a haunting energy that draws me to them. Your little bothy is quite charming.

Loved the Davies.

the walking man said...

A young couple with a resourceful attitude could make that dwelling habitable and then you'd have another place to stop for tea and ginger ice cream as we ramble about Mellerstien with you.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Hope your back gets better, there is nothing worse.Beautiful dog, we have one similar.Pip pip!

Jo said...

Love the poem. That "fixer upper" could be quite wonderful, I think. I love the skylights. But yes, it could use a bit of work. :-)

Did you ever see any of the Wallace and Grommit series? You sound like a bit more refined version of Wallace.

I hope the couple of beers helped your back feel better. :-)

willow said...

Old goat?! I think NOT, Mr. Charming.