Give me the simple life

My Blogger friend Mark Bialczak has set me a challenge and the challenge is this: –


Post your three favorite quotes, one each for three consecutive days.

With each post nominate three bloggers for the challenge.

Recognize the blogger who nominated you

My  three  nominations for day two are –

Vinathe Sharma actionable action – for a mixture of poetry, insight into gender and race discrimination

Linda Labin – Pockets of chaos – for literary musings and intelligent witty wordplay

Ann Bettys – Ann at Armitage  – for the idea for today’s quote, and much, much else

Four and a half years ago travelling to an unfamiliar destination, a fell top bothy in one of the remotest areas in England, the skies began to darken unseasonably early, and the rain began to fall.  I had left in plenty of time to arrive at my destination in daylight but I hadn’t counted on the weather.  I had already taken one wrong turn and was about to take another before finding myself back on the road I had originally left only half a mile further down, in spite of the five mile detour.  The wind picked up and the windscreen wipers were on active duty, I turned off a minor road onto one that was even narrower and began to climb as it twisted its way up the valley.  A sharp hairpin bend and crunch of gears and I turned left as the road narrowed and seemed to be winding upwards at 45 degrees.  It was dark and cold and wet.  This is not an auspicious start to the holiday as I peered through the darkness to find the turn down a single vehicle track that would take me to the place that would be my home for the next ten days.

Not the bothy

Not the bothy

Struggling against the wind and the rain with the dogs and with my luggage I entered the bothy and put on the light, closed the door and sat down and could have wept as the wind howled around outside.  the living quarters were there in the one room, a sink, stove and kitchen cupboard at one end of the room, a tiny two seater table by a hole in the ground where the stairs were that led underground to the bedroom and bathroom, while the rest of the room consisted of a TV, a two-seater settee and a cast-iron pot-belly fire.  It was sparse, primitive and did I mention it was cold? Ah well, I could always drive back home tomorrow.

I set about trying to get the fire lit with the coal and firelighters provided. I managed to get a brief glow for a while but it soon went out.  Whoever said there’s no smoke without fire had never tried to light a pot-bellied stove before.  And neither had I.  I eventually got it going and started to prepare something to eat.  We were miles from the nearest pub – wherever that was, besides which I did not relish the idea of driving around in the dark along the unfamiliar windy fell roads. Inside the bothy there was just enough of everything two people would need, but only because there wasn’t room for anything else.  Two dinner plates, two side plates, two cups, two mugs, two cereal bowls, two sets of cutlery and well, you get the picture.

At the end of the evening I was amazed at how much heat the fire belted out in such a small space.  I retired replete but not fully comforted – let’s see what tomorrow brings.

Tomorrow brought the sun and a chance to explore my surroundings.

Alongside the bothy, which I had not seen in the dark, was a slightly larger single story building and the farmhouse.  This had originally been a Quaker dwelling and it was reflected in the simplicity of style in the buildings, and also explained, quite possibly the need or desire for isolation.

Within a couple of days I found I had soon become accustomed to this uncluttered, pared down simple life, and when I arrived home after the holiday I was shocked by how much actual stuff I have acquired, and how much of it I never use or need.

William Morris said “Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

I guess it’s time for another clear out.


3 thoughts on “Give me the simple life

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