When we came to buy this house in Kent, we fell in love with it for many reasons. We were aware it was on top of a hill, but that was secondary to the main features of size, position, neighbourhood, practicality of house and garden, all the tiny details that are important about living in a house.
But what I hadn’t fully considered, although I was certainly aware of it on our second viewing, when we both fell in love with the place, was the view. The house stands, along with others, at the top of a hill, which means on days like today, it seems to be blowing a gale, that the people who live in the sweeping valley below are totally unaware of. Some days the clouds are so low over the hill that we don’t have a view at all, we are IN the clouds, and its like someone has stolen the world away. Our neighbours have told us … “Just wait till winter comes..” with knowing smiles, so I presume they are referring to snow, or sleet, or maybe more terrific winds than we’ve had so far this summer coming into autumn.. I await that with interest…
But what I have found, is that the weather is a source of conversation far more than it was when I lived in Leicestershire (also on top of a windy hill) or in South Derbyshire before that, when it was so cold the first winter I lived there, the washing-up liquid on the kitchen window sill FROZE!
No, the reason the weather has become such a source of conversation is not because my life has come so mundane that all we have to talk about is the weather, its because we can see so far into the distance, that we know what weather is going to come with about a five minute warning…oh look, that looks like rain falling in the valley, five minutes later, we have the rain!
But as well as that, and I’m not sure if its because we are closer to the sea, or because Kent is surrounded on about three quarters of its borders with two different seas, or if its just the placing of the hills in this area, we seem to have far more sky to look at, and it seems to be ever changing, and because we are facing south/south west its interesting sky, sun, sun and clouds, sunsets. I lose time with those sunset… dinner will be at 7.30….oh look at that sky, look at the golden sun setting, look at that rosy red cloud, look at that apricot and turquoise blend of pure colour, look at the light through the clouds, the dramatic beauty of the sun disappearing and appearing, and lighting up just one part of the valley below, a patch of golden field, the shine on one of the industrial buildings, the glint of water, the light everywhere, ever changing, ever delightful, ever interesting.
I hope I never get bored looking at it, I can’t think I will. I am also reminded every time we have visitors who have that intake of breath when they see it too…including the roof tiler who came this week to realign a couple of missing tiles off the roof, who when he was up there he got his phone out of his pocket to take a picture over the valley..!