Little Bunting is a quiet place with just a few dozen houses, a tavern, two fishing ponds, a trout farm and a village hall. We used to have a church, a village school, a post office, grocery shop, drapery shop, cobbler, coffin maker, blacksmith, butcher, coal merchant and doctor's surgery ... not bad for such a tiny village.
The most recent one to close was the blacksmith's. It was a sad day when everything was put up for auction, another link to the past lost. People came from far and wide.
The church was dismantled in the mid 1600's, the stone was used in a neighbouring village. The man who arranged all of this ultimately lost his head at the Tower of London. I don't think the two events are linked.
There are plenty of really nice people and a decent local social life, if one wishes to jump on the merry-go-round (I don't, however I do attend some lovely gatherings occasionally) but this tiny village also seems to attract some, strange characters.
There was one man, since passed away, who had developed quite a despicable business in selling wild birds. Part of his gathering process involved special glue and trees, the trees which we now call Owl Wood. Perhaps even more surprising was the list of people who bought them from him, including one extremely well known film actor.
Another caused a national newspaper sensation when decidedly risque photographs were published...this person has since relocated to Europe.
Then there are the peculiar people, the ones who used to lurk and peer from behind hedges and walls and all manner of strange things which are best left unsaid. They left last week, one day a removals van appeared, loaded up and off they went to who knows where.
We now have some brand new neighbours. We have high hopes.
They dropped by for a cup of tea yesterday and seem very happy, jolly people. Fingers crossed!
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Old Oscar remains in hospital. We've visited him a few times, he remains an amazing man and still doesn't look anywhere near his 98 years.
I collect his mail and take it in to read to him. He receives lots of Christmas cards from far and wide and it makes for a jolly half hour to sit there and read them to him. Then he tells me a little about who has sent them, where they live and various reminiscences.
It would be lovely to see him back home, not sure that this is possible any time soon - but then the NHS is always ready to boot patients out asap.
I couldn't mention Oscar without talking about Benedict. I have been told that he is enjoying his little holiday, I'd much rather hear it from the horse's mouth though. He used to do a bit of 'Mr Ed' type mouthing, I never managed to capture an image, unfortunately. I didn't actually hear words either, so don't worry. Goodness, how I used to love that programme when I was a young girl.
p.s. I am fully aware that their perception of me could be interesting, too!x