Friday, 28 December 2007

The River

My parents live in a mill house beside a river at the bottom of a steep-sided valley. In front of the house there is a bridge across the river and we sit on the flat slates of the pillars and watch the water flow around the small island in the middle. Upstream, geese swim in the shallows beside the meadow.

In the summer, the water level is low and my children have flipped stones, paddled and built dams. In winter, the river can become a raging torrent and the Mill House has been flooded a number of times.

The noise of the river is inescapable - a constant tumbling sound that is the last thing you hear at night and the first thing you are aware of in the morning.

Today, we walked beside the river to the weir where the flow is divided. On one side the water flows along the leat channel to the back of the Mill. Once it powered the wheel that ground the flour for the neighbourhood. Some of the original machinery is still in the barn next to the house.

On the other side the water tumbles over the weir edge. It falls past a little wood of wild daffodils and a meadow of butterflies. Otters hunt salmon in this river.

We are very privileged to be able to visit such a wonderful place and grateful to my parents for making us so welcome whenever we drive down that steep hill and into the yard in front of the mill house.

11 comments:

peppermintpatcher said...

A sense of history inspires a unique feeling in a building and it is so very uncommon in a country as young as ours. How old is the mill? How long since it was working and functional?

blackbird said...

You don't need a visit to a tropical isle, just a visit to that gorgeous place.
Lucky you..

RW said...

How incredibly lovely!

Ginnie said...

What a wonderful description! And there's nothing like being welcomed home again by your parents.

driftwood said...

it looks idyllic !

Dragonfly said...

Lucky you to have such an beautiful escape...I'm very envious...

gms said...

We of course are the privileged ones being able to live in such a delightful spot in Cornwall. But we love to share it with family and friends and their friends. We have a lovely separate cottage and encourage couples to come and spend hedonistic weekends so, if you want to share the country mouse thing, do.
Peppermintpatcher:We have documentation for the mill going back to 1690, but there was probably a mill here before that, although it was not recorded in the Domesday Book. It was still working in the 1950's although we didn't come here until the 1980's.

Florence said...

How completely wonderful. It sounds idyllic!

dottycookie said...

It looks like a magical place. I bet you sleep well by the river ...

Anne said...

I've read The Mill and the Floss at least three times. Does it remind me of that. Beautiful pictures ..i had some catching up to do. Love the pictures of the flower and food. We had fog before Christmas...must have been eerie watching a football game in that weather. Have a very HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hope it is fantastic! Cheers. Anne

farm mom said...

How beautiful! What a lovely place to call home.