To me, villages are quintessentially english, and i think im so lucky to live in the beautiful county of Hampshire which has so many to swoon over. Yesterday afternoon/evening was spent ploughing with Mr P in the the gorgeous little village of Michlemersh near Romsey. It has many pretty houses, old wooden signposts and a huge hill(not easy for a tractor with a giant plough on which isnt weighted down enough attached!) dotted with perfectly manicured gardens.
I love how each house is different, each has its own little bit of character, maybe with a beautiful thatched roof, beautifully painted in pastel colours or perhaps a garden overflowing with old school cottage garden plants such as foxgloves primroses and forget me not and a vintage car in the drive, yet they all nestle together to form a beautiful haven of tranquility.
I love the summer with Mr P when i go to work with him harvesting or bailing and he manages to squeeze his giant Claas forrager through the narrowest lanes in the tiniest and prettiest villages ive ever seen(he's sooo skilled at it!). Sometimes go for little drives to places ive never ventured before and am amazed how many little places there are tucked away, so pretty and well cared for by the inhabitants, it gives me immense pleasure just to look at them all and get that creative buzz.
Be ts a lovely dovecote on the front lawn or a beautiful wysteria draped over a porch, the pleasure of the images stays with me and i find myself dreaming of what my ideal home would be-incorporating all these little snippets.
The main highlight of my year is held in a village which is local to me, a little place called Downton.
Downton is a large ancient Wiltshire village with a population of approximately 3,000, situated around 6 miles south of Salisbury. It straddles the River Avon just outside the New Forest National Park and is surrounded by water meadows and chalk downland.
Every year an estimated 20,000 visitors decend on this little place for an event called the Cockoo Fair(the website isnt very inspiring i will warn you!!), the whole village street is closed off to cars, and stalls are set up. A field up the road is set up as the park and ride bas,e and a couple of buses drive people to and from the village all day.
There are craft stalls and tents, a fair, plant sales, livery shows fresh baked food on sale, so much going on its a wonderful pleasure to stroll round for the day. There are always morris dancers and a brilliant live band and singers on a huge stage set up outside the main pub.
Lots of local people set up little stalls on their front lawns, selling boot sale type things, or handcrafted items(hearts!!!), or furniture. Lots of people bakes cakes and other fattening goodies to sell too. There are some charity stalls, such as st johns ambulance and cat and dog charities so i always try and buy something from them.
One of my fave stalls is run by a couple who sell garden items-not just run of the mill pots and statues, oh no, im talking old galvanised milk churns and cast iron baths planted up with lavender and the like... Old enamel bowls and funnels begging to be snapped up and displayed in my garden and lots of quirky things like old butter paddles, its heaven for girls like us! (seriously im daydreaming about it all day long, very distracting!)
I really cant tell you how excited i am to be going again this year, now that ive shared this little gem of a secret(?!) with you, hopefully i'll see some of you there! I shall of course have lots of scrummy photos to share next weekend so keep your eyes peeled!
Enjoy your weekends xxx