Day eight.  Weird.  I, automatically, put a ‘y’ on the end of ‘eight’.  Just feels like forever.  Anyway, I’m earlier tonight and endeavouring to limit myself to an hour.  To be quite honest, I have no idea what I can write about for an hour as successive days merge into one another.  I haven’t really listened to, or watched the news today, but I do know that Boris has tested positive as has Matt Hancock; Chris Whitty, too, has symptoms – pause as I listen to Manny sneezing profusely downstairs!  Everyone a suspect.  We’ve just returned from the local garage, collecting his old but much-loved Golf.  Nothing major to get it through its MOT so there’s a plus.  Moreover, the guys at EMS were a joy to deal with.  Help!  That’s two positives already.  I feel like Pollyanna playing The Glad Game!

Pause for a third?  I am sitting upstairs at one of the skylight windows in my bedroom.  I have a little oak table from Lyndhurst below it, from which I have become accustomed to write.  I sit on my little mahogany bedroom chair with its duck egg velvet seat and heart-shaped back.  One of my favourite possessions.  (Perhaps, here, I should address the fact that I seem to refer to all pieces of furniture in my bedroom as ‘little’!  I suppose, in the great scheme of things, they are of small or delicate stature but, rest assured, I do not live in a doll’s house – or with Goldilocks and the three bears.).  Right.  Moving on.  I should say that my prized, little mahogany chair was found, many years ago, in Rummage in St Andrews.  How I loved that shop which brimmed over with character pieces from house clearances in the surrounds.  I have a fixation with chairs which, to me, all have stories to tell and, somehow, certain ones just seem to speak to me – as did this one.  I bought it for £45 and it was, originally, one of a pair.  Belonging to a little old lady – of course – who had to go into a home, she was loathe to part with it and it had been removed from the shop, several times, and returned to her.  I feel bad that her loss was my gain but it couldn’t have found a more appreciative home and I love my little chair to bits.  I can only surmise as to its history.  It is my favourite but I have accumulated many others over the years – an eclectic bunch.  I have no idea what my penchant for old chairs reveals about me but, one thing’s for certain, each and every one of them shall be an asset in my yurt!  (Actually, I have just googled ‘yurt’ and bookmarked the Colorado Yurt Company for future reference.  You think I’m kidding?)

Don’t worry, I only have ten minutes left of my hour!  Thinking about old chairs, though, I should relate the story of Pitmilly House and the chairs my mother bought at auction – which I now have.  I’ll be brief!  Pitmilly House was situated just outside St Andrews, beyond Kingsbarns.  A beautiful old country house, latterly, it was a hotel in the 60s.  Anyway, strange accidents kept occurring such as curtains going on fire, furniture hurtling through the air, handbags, inexplicably, being found in the fire.  With no rational explanation, it was, genuinely, believed that the house was occupied by a poltergeist.  Endeavours were made to exorcise the evil spirit but, in the end, the house was burnt to the ground in 1967 and the fittings and fixtures sold at auction.  My mother bought a large sideboard, which was a feature in the Breakfast Room from then on, and six dining room chairs.  They sat round the table in said room – the hub of our family – and the stories they could tell!  We shall never part with them.

Anyway, said sideboard and chairs were delivered to Lyndhurst in 1967 and Bruce, our Airedale, had a fit!  Tail down, he would go nowhere near them and it was as though he sensed something we didn’t.  Years later, Rumpole – our Old English Mastiff – had a particular reaction to the huge chest sideboard and he would, often, be found lying flat on the flagstone floor just staring underneath it as though there was something there!  As if that were not convincing enough, fast forward, again, and Wilbur did exactly the same.  Definitely evidence of the paranormal.  You know what they say about animals and their acute senses …

So, my haunted chairs, too, will join me in my yurt and we shall all be very happy together!  I can guarantee my next dog will have exactly the same reaction, too.

I am ‘working’ overtime now.  Suffice to say, the ever-changing sky in the window above me is darkening as the grey clouds move slowly by.  I can hear the birds chirping profusely, saying ‘goodnight’ as they make their way home.  I have always loved the sound of the birds, in the country, as the light is fading …  Actually, being here/’home’, has really enriched this time for me.  Self-isolating, we may be, but the surrounding countryside, with which I am so familiar, is full of childhood memories and having the time to explore it, once more, is lovely.  Manny and I went for a walk, earlier, up the hill and into the woods of Magus Muir.  Full of history, it is where Archbishop Sharp was murdered in 1679 and I have never forgotten walking the same path as a little girl.  Nothing has changed in the intervening fifty years – nor is it likely to do so in the next fifty.  How insignificant we are in the great scheme of things …

All the happy days would never learn to fly
Until the hands of time would choose to wave goodbye …’

The Hands of Time’ (Theme from Brian’s Song), Perry Como.

Way over an hour!  Until tomorrow …

This is Trish, signing off.