It has been two weeks since our return to West Sussex and little by little things are falling into place already and we feel pretty much settled and privileged to be living in such a special area. Adonis has resumed his job as Head of Art at the College and I am quite happy to be a ‘motorhome’ wife for the time being.
The weather has been good for the most part and we have been able to sit outdoors everyday, even as days are shortening with the imminent arrival of Autumn, which we can feel and see all around us, and there is a definite nip in the air first thing in the morning and evening. It is funny to think that this time last year we were sweltering by the River Ebro at Riba-Roja d’Ebre after our visit to La Costa Brava. It seems like yesterday…
While Adonis is at work, I have been driving around the nearby villages to see what facilities are available without having to go all the way to Chichester or Bognor Regis and I have already discovered that there is a launderette just under 3 miles, or 4.5 km from the campsite, so that will save me a journey already, and there is a hairdresser’s next door which I may very well visit soon.
Even more pleasurable, it has been exploring the stunning land around us, the ancient Slindon Estate, and I have been making my walks with Beano longer and longer in order to fully enjoy the experience. I have re-discovered the nearby Lady Beaumont’s ‘seat’ (wife to 9th Baron Beaumont) who held the post of Commandant when Slindon House became an Officers Convalescent Home during WWI. Her ghost is supposed to haunt the lower floor of the now Slindon College!
Equally exciting was finding the information sign about the Broxgrove Man, only a few hundred metres from here, describing what the land looked like and how our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived about 500,000 years ago. Weird to think that Chichester, Bognor Regis and other seaside towns around did not yet exist: fascinating!
There are many lanes that take off from the main path on our woods walk and which I cannot resist following, for, just as when we travel in the motorhome, I believe that there is a lot more fun to be had when going off the beaten track. As a result, I have encountered some amazing trees that seem to have a life of their own, almost looking like extras in the Lord of the Rings films. I truly feel like Bilbo Baggins on one of his adventures!
And let’s not forget our closest neighbours just outside the campsite, which help this place look and feel so idyllic and pastoral! One of them even stopped to say hello!
It has, of course, been lovely to spend some time with our son and he was very keen to show me all the new shops and catering places that have recently opened in Bognor Regis, one of which being Rainbows in the Arcade leading to the seafront, where we treated ourselves to a delicious ice-cream and milkshake like I’ve never seen before. They also serve waffles and pancakes, so I am sure we’ll be back.
One of the great advantages of our new Bürstner Aviano is the small oven above the fridge, which I just couldn’t wait to use, so in the last few of days I have been busy making a pizza and an apple and blackberry crumble, the latter made with apples from the trees in campsite and blackberries from bushes just outside, still cooling down on the dining table as I type. There is nothing like the smell of baking to make any place feel like a proper home. I am planning roast dinners, lasagnas and moussakas to start with and, as the winter months progress, I will be using it more and more, I am sure. I know it sounds sad, but I am already looking forward to some Christmas baking!