Advent Thought For The Day: 7

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December 7th: An Englishman’s Home is his Castle.

I have been away for five days and I can’t wait to get home. The more often I travel and the longer I commute, the greater my appreciation of time spent at home. The decision to live in Broadstairs full time was not entirely my own, but throughout the transition I kept an open mind. I concluded that if commuting to London was going to be insufferable, I would soon know about it. Almost two years later I have almost forgotten any hardship, although in July when I have buy a new season ticket, the pain in my wallet brings reality into sharp focus. As commutes go it’s not the easiest, but nor is it impossible. Plenty of other folk do it. I fill the hours on the train, 4 of them on a good day, with emails and writing blog posts. (This post is actually being written on a plane from Düsseldorf to London, which takes exactly half the time my 88 mile commute does.)

The point I am getting to is that I love being at home. I love arriving at the threshold, filling my lungs with humid, salty, sea air and then shutting the door behind me. Never do I consider moving closer too work. This is where I am happiest. At the entrance to The Watch House there is a mighty gate, constructed twelve years ago when the garden was built. Pictured above, it has a large stainless-steel number 7 positioned in the middle, hence my decision to write about it today. The gate closes with a satisfying clunk on a calm day, and with a force that could send a dozen weightlifters flying on a windy day. It’s unnecessarily large but I love the sense of privacy and protection it affords. My home is my castle, and the gate is my portcullis. TFG.

Categories: Christmas, Musings, Travel, Uncategorized

Posted by The Frustrated Gardener

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16 comments On "Advent Thought For The Day: 7"

  1. What a lovely and heart-warming post, Dan. I really appreciate how, in your articles, you always put your experience in perspective without losing the singularity of your point of view and your voice. I can hear your mighty gate which I imagine creaking against the sea wind this evening (but surely it doesn’t creak, your house and garden look so well looked after !). I also love my small terraced house and its oh too narrow garden.

  2. “A dozen weightlifters”! (I’m married to one;) Beautifully written, Dan. Thank you for expressing my own sentiments about “home”.
    “Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.”—Jane Austen

  3. You certainly have a long commute. I used to commute 116 Miles, that was counting both ways, only I had to drive myself. It was exhausting. I can imagine how you feel when you walk through that gate. I am sure your gate is as happy to see you. There is no place like home.

  4. I don’t go far from my home and, more importantly, my garden (my choice) and try to work very close by as well. I love returning and am never happier than when in my garden. Really enjoying your Advent thoughts.

  5. I am enjoying your advent thoughts very much Dan. And I totally agree that when you find the right place there really is no place like home. And your home looks fabulous. Though I really do not envy you that commute.

      1. Needs must and all that! I used to drive 30 miles each way to work in South Yorkshire and actually enjoyed the journey despite the volume of traffic as it gave me time to shift from being a parent to being an employee and vice versa. Also time to listen to music. I didn’t like doing the journey by bus and train though because it was rare to get a seat!

  6. Before I opened my eyes this morning I found myself thinking of your ‘advent thoughts’; it was more than a joy to wake up to the thought of inspiring thoughts Dan.

    I thought of going through each days thought, finding a sentence that most touched me, write it down on a small piece of a card, hang it on a Christmas tree. As I have stopped having trees I would probably hang it on the olive tree outside of my panoramic living room window.

    On your thought of today, I would like to say that, yes I totally agree with an addition: There is nothing like home & the garden!

    Instead of closing the gate behind upon entering, I rather not even open it to go out. I love and enjoy living within the boundaries of my garden which is my home.

    Contrary to ‘borders’ boundaries have a feeling of sanctuary where I feel I do coexist freely.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  7. Home sweet home 🙂 It’s fantastic you’ve got such a wonderful place on Earth with a private piece of sky above it . I understand your feelings when you go through the gate, it should welcome you happily each time you come back home .

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