Circles and journeys

Steve and I celebrated our double Leo birthday this past week.  Yesterday we rounded off with lunch at Hotel Endsleigh, a Devon boutique hotel in an 1811 Regency shooting lodge.  It was a rainy day, so we didn’t explore the beautiful grounds and gardens, but the interior was so cosy, warm,  inviting and utterly charming, that we didn’t mind staying inside.  Plus, my outfit coordinated perfectly with the decor.

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Lounging on a chaise longue

After having a drink in the oak paneled library and perusing the menu,

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we took a window-side table in the dining room overlooking the croquet lawn.

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Steve had a poached duck egg with asparagus and hollandaise to start, followed by a rare steak sandwich.

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I had Devon blue with candied walnuts & heritage tomato followed by my favourite, slow cooked pork belly.

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Summertime in the countryside in Devon means swallows!   They were skimming non-stop from their nests above the window, out over the lawn and back again with juicy insects for their babies.  I adore swallows and could hardly keep my eyes on my food.

I’ve been reading about and pondering upon and settling into the American Indian worldview, which is a circular philosophy.  Swallows epitomize this notion, also journey and safe arrival.  The swallows return to the UK every year, stay through the summer and then return to Africa.  Yesterday I saw them on one arc of their circle.  I wonder, do they sometimes dream of hot and endlessly sun-filled skies while they’re here?  Are the young ones filled with quiet thoughts about migrating down an unknown coast come Autumn? What is it like to fly in a summer shower and tickle a squirrel with the tips of your wings?

They always seem so happy.  My heart fills with joy whenever I see them.  Their liquid, elegant flight contains the entire circular map of their lives, their journey ever-changing, different notions of what ‘home’ is.  In England, their ‘intoxicating babble is of violet seas, tawny sands, and lizard-haunted walls.  In other places it is the call of lush meadow- grass, wet orchards, warm, insect-haunted ponds, of browsing cattle and all the farm-buildings clustering round the House of the perfect Eaves.’

Though their blood may dance to a different tune from time to time, wherever they are is Home.

Oh, time for dessert!

Dessert for me was banana & praline parfait, roasted hazelnut, carmelised banana, toffee sauce. With a hand lettered greeting from the chef.

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An understated birthday presentation.

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