Morning coffee spot by Hannah Foley. All rights reserved (

Last Thursday, the most amazing sound filled the evening air. Bells! I don’t think I’d realised how much I’d missed hearing them until they were ringing again. Thursday night is bell-ringing night at the parish church behind our house. Or, at least, it was before the pandemic. It made me realise how much of our community fabric I thought had unraveled without the evidence of fetes, allotment produce shows, and the bustle of people at the community café (now sadly closed down). But the bells made me hopeful. Perhaps it is there, the thread a little looser, but still a carpet after all. 

It is the beginning of the school holidays, here in Devon. Swifts screech overhead, and the hedgerows are full of tansy and meadowsweet on my rounds. Here is the view from my morning coffee stop on Saturday. Those grey clouds brought rain later, for which the ground was very glad. I asked Wren what her plans were for the holidays. “Wear pants,” was her reply. Fair enough. But I did insist she wore more than that to sign up for the summer reading challenge at the library.

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