From the kitchen door, there is a path that leads straight out to the small garden gate, which is covered with so many layers of peeling green paint, that it no longer shuts. The path is flanked by wild pink roses, blue irises from Cornwall, orange poppies, and cow parsley. But there are signs of peonies and aquilegia and allium popping up. It's impossibly beautiful. After months and months of greyness and low-slung skies, there is sunshine and that impossible, chlorophyl-filled green everywhere, layer upon layer of it, punctuated by the snow-like hawthorne blossom.
Outside the backdoor, apart from the wild, wild grass, there is a huge bay tree, a huge hazel tree and a rather nice slab of old concrete where there must be a well, but it has become the sunning place of choice for the dogs.
The truth is, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to live here. I am a hybrid. I am other. I am neither one nor t'other. I just don't know how this country works or what the secret codes are, or what group I'm meant to attach myself to. I don't know if this bleeding heart liberal who has LA in her heart is going to be embraced here by the Brits.
So, here's the thing, when I was in LA, pining for the Chilterns (apparently that's my thing: living in a state of longing) I had so many British friends who would come to stay or want to hook up when they were over, who would send children to stay (all delightful, let me say), but now that I'm here, apparently I'm less appealing. It's quite strange. It's a little bewildering. I'm not one to feel sorry for myself, but I'm just not sure if this is where I can be. Or perhaps I am too impatient. Perhaps it does take years. Perhaps all the years and experience and success in business and being ballsy and out there and in charge and shouting about feminism from the rafters isn't in fact what sells you here in Blighty. They just don't care.
And so I am writing about my cottage, which I love. And showing pictures of my happy dog and my fat bay mare on Instagram. And then I think about Vonnegut and kindness and hope that if I continue to try to be kind, things will change. Who knows?