Last week marked five years we moving to the country, when we swapped London for Suffolk, and Stoke Newington for the market town of Hadleigh.
How do I know? Because we had to renew our household insurance. Woo hoo, way to celebrate.
Five years on, and I still get regular reminders that make me appreciate the move. I’m grateful every time I look at the lime tree outside the sitting room window, rather than staring straight into terraced houses.
We potter on with the occasional changes – a new-to-us rug in the sitting room, fitting Radbots in the hope of cutting the heating bills.
Outside the house, we’ve been settling in to the seasons and revisiting familiar events on the local calendar. As ever, the roses are out in force at this time of year, with a burst of scent every time we go in and out of the house. This morning I actually counted how many different roses are in flower – 28 varieties!
I went to the school concert last week, to hear my daughter sing in the choir for the last time before she starts at secondary school in September. Looking at the children on stage, and the parents in the audience, made me realise how many faces are now familiar.
At the weekend, a couple of favourite events came round again – the Hidden Gardens of Hadleigh, in support of St Mary’s Church, and the Duck and Raft Races for Hadleigh Sea Scouts.
I do love exploring different gardens each year, and returning to see how others have changed. This time, we added a tour of the Deanery Tower. Fascinating to visit the study on the first floor, though I wasn’t over keen on stumbling over the lead roof at the top!
Sunday morning saw us back by Toppesfield Bridge for the annual Duck & Raft Races. Boy was I glad to stay warm and dry on the bank, while rival teams battled it out on the river. The kids were able to run off to find friends, whether for a picnic or to get utterly soaked in a war of water pistols.
At home, viewing so many beautifully maintained gardens elsewhere did make me rather aware of our own chaos. I finally (finally!) tackled the yew hedge by the back door and developed a deep hatred of the hefty hedge trimmer.
If you’re like to see a ‘before’ picture, head over to my Instagram at MuchMore_Less and swipe for a picture of the original explosive growth. One down, only two more to go…hopefully before we celebrate our sixth anniversary!