Thursday, 2 March 2017

Missing Friends



This beautiful weather vane belonged to an old village friend and neighbour of ours, Oscar.        At one time, Oscar and his late wife had a much loved red setter and even had a painting of him on their living room wall.    I believe the one on the barn was a gift from one to the other and may have been made by the village blacksmith, though I could be wrong about that.




This huge old ash tree used to shelter my old friend, Benedict, Oscar's old horse.    He'd stand in the shade and watch to see whether anyone was coming by with a treat for him.   I could never resist and stopped by most days.

Oscar would normally come out for a chat and he would tell me about the old days in the village, his beekeeping experiences,  farming in the old days, details of life in Little Bunting and the wonderful events which used to be held in the village hall.

The ash looks like two trees, but Oscar and I checked it out carefully and it began life as one tree which divided.   Split ash trees are said to be special, to hold magical powers!   It is reckoned to be almost 200 years old.

The tree is still standing but my friends have left.

Benedict has gone to pastures new,  and Oscar to a Care Home in a small town just a few miles away.    The paddock looks very different without either of them.



Many of us in the village have clung on to the hope that Oscar may one day return.   Realistically we knew that he wouldn't, but still we hoped.  

A few weeks ago a 'For Sale' board went up, quickly followed by a 'SOLD' one.   So that is that.

Benedict's empty stable,
untouched since he left.


I felt I had to call round for one last session with my camera, remembering my old friends and the happy times we shared there.

The empty house and paddock, the crumbling old stable, with Benedict's old hay net still hanging by the door and no Oscar.  

It was very sad, poignant.

But then I noticed the weather vane turning in the wind.

The winds of change are blowing.



16 comments:

  1. I love the weather vane. Oscar sounds like a wonderful neighbour. Pity times have to change. What with magical ash trees, Owl woods and fairies you live in an enchanted place.
    Hope your new neighbours fit in with it all...and take part in your activities

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    1. Hello Linda, Oscar is a lovely man - ask the right questions, tap into that almost century-long memory and he can tell you all sorts of tales. He was fit and active, still driving and get out and about, until a little over a year ago. He swears that three things kept him fit and well -"Beer, Baccy, and Bonking"! Old age has not diminished his sense of humour.

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  2. I felt like I knew them. What a wonderful resource Oscar was for you to tap into.
    How lucky the grandkids were to have had that sweet horse as part of their early childhood.
    I'm hoping your new neighbors will be delighted in their home and join right in.

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    1. Hello SAS, Oscar and his horse will never be forgotten by my 5 year old granddaughter, either. From her earliest days we used to take her along to see Oscar and Benedict, she loved both of them - though the horse won on points! Every toy horse she owns is called 'Benedict' even the mares. As far as she is concerned it is the only suitable name for a horse. Our grandson was happy to go along with us but never made that deep heartfelt connection to the horse, whereas Merry will never forget him.

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  3. What a lovely, and poignant post. Thank you, for sharing these memories, with us.

    At first, I was so happy, that you had the old weather vane, on your barn. But now, I'm not sure. Oh I hope the new owners will not part with that!!!! Or if they wish to do so, will allow you or some other neighbor, to purchase it.

    Everything is lovely... Your photos... Your memories.... And that amazing old tree! Oh yes, it must be magical! I certainly hope the new owners do not want to get rid of that!!!!!!!!!!!

    In the lot, next to ours, was a very old Oak Tree. Very old. One of the 3 such very old trees, in this small city.

    The neighbors there, sold it. The house was demolished and the new owner had grand plans, for building a "McMansion". Or for selling the lot, to some builder of *McMansions*. (Ughhhhh!!!!)

    While clearing and doing thus and so.... She had the old, old Oak Tree cut down. Doesn't that sink your heart???!!?? It did ours!!!!!!! It makes me sad, just to remember it. For no good reason too. It was healthy. She simply wanted to put a driveway there.

    Now I have heard about how old Oak Trees were sacred to the Druids. And how they were revered. And I said; "I would not want to be the ones, who cut it down!"

    Sure enough, she has never had a bit of luck, with the property since!

    Could not build on it. Has not been able to sell it, to another builder. She still owns it, and has to have the grass cut, all summer long! Hahhhhhh....

    Karma, babe! Karma!

    *Evil* chuckle
    Luna Crone

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    1. Hello Luna, I have sometimes been known to go and hug a tree and it is surprising how much energy you can feel in them. So sad to hear about the big beautiful old oak tree; I can understand your feelings.
      The weather vane is still on Oscar's barn. I thought his family would have taken it, but it seems not. If the old barn survives the winds of change then it will be a nice reminder of happy times there.

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  4. I agree with the comment from SAS...I felt like I knew them. It is so sad when a change like this comes about. If we live long enough, I guess we all experience it in some way. My close girlfriend died some years back....the loss is still felt by me. It is especially difficult when I drive past her old home.

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    1. Hello Meggie, I really like your cute new profile photograph! What fun!
      It is sad, things change, people move on and the world keeps on turning regardless. Your girlfriend was truly special, no wonder you still miss her. (Big hug.) I felt that I had to make the post because over all the years of blogging (and all the various blogs!) I have shared snippets about them.
      We have hopes that perhaps the new people will have a few animals.. perhaps a horse or two. Watch this space!

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  5. I'm a new follower. Such a nice tribute to your friends. Will you visit Oscar at his new home?

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    1. Hello Marcia, Welcome! It is lovely to meet you. We have visited Oscar through the year that he has been away. His body is getting frail but his mind (once you access the right parts) is still sharp. He still has his sweet tooth and his big smiles and he seems settled. Some days I would love to steal him away and let him breathe in some good fresh air, but that would unsettle him.

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  6. It's so darn hard to lose friends. I hope your sweet memories heal your heart.

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    1. Hello Deb, Thank you. I was up there and saw his son and DiL yesterday, they gave me all his old cookery books (I love books) and permission to go into the lovely gardens to take some cuttings. How sweet was that! Enjoy your weekend.

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  7. I hope your new neighbours understand what a special place it is.

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    1. Hello Sol, From the chat I had with Oscar's son and DiL it sounds as though there may be two horses and some Jacob sheep moving into the field and paddock soon. The new people should be in within the next couple of weeks. We'll find out then. Fingers crossed that they don't want to make sweeping changes. Have a lovely Sunday.

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  8. This is such a beautiful post. You'll always have the memories of your friend and his beautiful horse. I hope your new neighbors are all that you hope them to be. xo

    ~ Wendy
    http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hello Wendy, As I mentioned to Sol (above) the new people are said to have animals, so it will be really nice to see the field and paddocks being used again and people living in the house. It will be a bonus if they turn out to be nice as well!

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