I slowly wake to the soft hum of the radio, a soothing sound lulling me out of sleep.
Focusing my eyes, I can just about see the morning sun through the gap between the curtains. Sliding out of bed, I tug at the fabric, inching the curtain open a little further. You can tell its winter: the air is motionless, stuck in a wispy fog and the grass concealed, coated in a silver frost.
Eloiseeeeee…! I turn to find that the light is now resting on Jack’s face. To put it politely, he’s not exactly a morning person!
Fumbling around in the wardrobe, I manage to grab some clothes that loosely resemble an outfit. Thank goodness we have a dressing room, I’m not sure I would be Jack’s favourite person if I woke him up daily at these early hours!
I look down at my watch: 6:39am… Nope still too early to wake Cleo. Trying my utmost to be quiet, I jump in the shower.
7:10am… that’s more like it!
As I head for the utility room my mind wanders… there’s been so many changes this past year, and now look where we are. We’ve started a new chapter, got a new house, a new puppy even!
I still can’t believe we have a puppy… Jack has always wanted one, but I wasn’t so convinced. At our last house we would have run into all kinds of troubles… the garden was too small, there was nowhere to put a dog bed, nowhere to walk them. But now, although I hate to admit it, I’m fully won over.
Opening the door I immediately spot Cleo sat proudly, presenting me with a toy and wagging her tail. Can dogs sleep with one eye open? I’m sure she does.
This is my favourite time of day. No one’s woken up yet; nature is totally silent and undisturbed. I giggle as I watch Cleo strut through the frosted grass, proudly leaving a trail of paw prints behind. She obviously enjoys this time of day too!
When we first moved in, I happened to stumble across this path that ran parallel to our house… encompassed by ancient trees all tangled together, I was instantly intrigued. Never one to pass up the opportunity to explore, I headed down the track. At first I remember being vaguely confused, part of me expected the path to lead to one of the surrounding farmers’ fields, but it didn’t seem to have an end. Chatting in the local pub one day, I discovered the path had a name – the ‘Devil’s Highway’. A roman built road, it was apparently significant in connecting the nearby Silchester with London. Over the weeks, this trip has become one of my and Cleo’s favourite walks.
Turning the key in the lock, I hear Jack’s frustrated groan. I recognise that noise… yep, he’s trying to assemble our flat pack bookshelf. Having moved in a few weeks ago, the bookshelf was one of the last things we needed to put together. I’d better go help…
Bookshelf assembled, Jack and I sit down for a quick bite to eat. That’s when it dawns on me; we’ve done it, we’ve finally moved in, and just in time! Tonight we’ve got eight of our closest friends over for a house-warming supper.
Right… what’s left to do? Jack decides he’s going to go to the local garden centre, Hortus Loci, to pick up some potted plants that will neatly finish off the front porch. Meanwhile, I’ll head to the Wellington Farm Shop, in the hope that I’ll get some inspiration for what to cook tonight.
Once there, I head straight for the cheese counter knowing Liz will be able to help me out. We decide on Beef Wellington with potatoes and spinach – when in Riseley! Grabbing all my goodies, I head back home ready to cook up a storm.
Knock… Knock… Knock… That must be them. Time to kick back and enjoy our new home!
Looking to move to Riseley? Discover more about Dukes Meadow.