It's very easy to take root in this part of the world. Even though my friends and visitors come from and travel to all points of the compass I seem to spend much of life in and around the village. Just occasionally I break out and there's no denying it does change the perspective.
In just 48 hours last week I managed to take in a formal dinner in the depths of Windsor Great Park, pub lunch with my son Sam in Bristol, delivery of paintings to the far west of Devon, a curry with Gerard Stamp - no surprise there other than we were in Exeter for a change - and dinner in rather more historic surroundings with the Dean of Exeter!
By way of explanation, the formal dinner was at a construction conference and took me back to my previous existence as an architect. It all seemed a long time ago and a long way from my life today. Windsor Park did however look very good on a classic autumn morning, all misty and mellow. Lunch in Bristol was pre-planned to mark his 21 years on the planet, but my further travels were prompted by Sam who, with pleasing concern for his aged father, suggested a day off seeing friends would do me good.
Exeter is the venue of our next exhibition of Gerard's work, so it was not chance that found us eating and drinking together within sight of the Cathedral. With the longest uninterrupted vaulted ceiling in the world and now with the West End cleared of scaffolding it's looking very good and worthy of Gerard's attention.
With an eye to economy, I contrived to use a visit to Richard Godfrey's studio as a staging post in the process of getting the pictures to their final destination in the South Hams. Fantastic to see just how well Richard is doing and to find him hard at work on his new work. Without giving too much away to those who know the range of his work we have sold over the last ten years, the new work has a real connection with this but at the same time is wonderfully different. Hopefully we should have some here in Norfolk before too long. In the meantime, if you want or need any or more of his earlier work, you need to be quick. There won't be anymore and there's not much left.
At Richard's suggestion I then called in to see another Devon potter, Tim Andrews, who each year hosts an exhibition of ceramics by a number of his friends. Some of these - including Richard and Francoise Dufayard - already show with us in Burnham, and hopefully Tim can be persuaded to join them.
Combined with a small number of pints of Otter and glasses of Reserve du Reverend (really!), Sam's advice proved sound and life seemed quite a bit better. On my return to Burnham, Harry Cory Wright appeared to deliver the work for his exhibition, having also just got back from a couple of days away. In his case in Marrakesh. I know my place!