November was a wet month at Nutsford House. The babbling stream that runs through the woodland has been especially babbling - roaring at times, actually. Sometimes it is the only noise you can hear.
So far, however, December has been pretty dry. Clear skies and plenty of sunshine - blissful days and amazing, starry night skies.
The very same skies that Samuel Taylor Coleridge would have gazed at two hundred years ago. Coleridge was born in Devon and lived in a village in the Quantocks (Somerset). And it was while living in Nether Stowey that, towards the end of the eighteenth century, he enjoyed his most productive period of poetic output. Besides The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, it was at this time that he wrote his masterpiece Kubla Khan, only supposedly to be interrupted by The Person from Porlock!
(We went to Porlock recently. It’s lovely.)
Coleridge also used to walk on Exmoor a lot and no doubt it was here that ideas would filter into his head.
Water, water, everywhere …
But enough about the quantity of water. More about the quality.
Here’s another short poem :
The water here is a marvellous thing,
It tastes really good ‘cos it comes from a spring!
We have a company here at the moment fitting an enormous water tank in the garage, a UV bacteria detection system and two high-functioning pumps. This will mean that we - and our guests - will be able to enjoy lovely baths and showers, clean clothes and dishes (from the washing machine and dishwasher) and ample, safe water to do with what we want - all at the same time, at any time of day!
And we can also drink as much as we want.
I’ve never been totally convinced about the taste of water. Blindfold someone, give them one glass of tap water and one glass of bottled mineral water at the same temperature. Can they tell which is which?
But I think I’ve changed my mind. Because the water at Nutsford House does taste good.
Dave, our bathroom fitter, stayed with us for a few weeks - with his wife and their small poodle - while fitting the bathrooms. Having finished the work, he spent the weekend back at home before returning last Monday morning to pick up his stuff.
Over the weekend, he and his wife noticed how horrible the tap water back at home was, having not really noticed before.
Because … the water here is a marvellous thing, it tastes really good ‘cos it comes from a spring.
I’m no Samuel Taylor Coleridge. But, living in Exmoor, I am developing a fascination with water!