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  • Writer's pictureJules

Beams and Birdsong

Mon - 7 Mar 2022

I‘ve woken up in a new place this morning. I am sharing an airbnb with my little sister. We’ve come to visit mum and her bungalow (just the right size for her) is not designed for overnight family stays. It’s early and sis is still asleep.

The Oak Public House

We are staying in a quaint apartment nestled atop an ancient pub in a small Cambridgeshire village. It’s aptly named, ‘The Nest’.

The village has followed a sadly familiar path and is devoid of shops, although the welcome card mentions there is a local pop-up shop on Friday and Saturday mornings. The pub is open part-time.

I’ve woken early and the village is shrouded in the silence that you only find in the midst of the countryside.

It‘s Monday morning. Back home lights would be blazing along the row of houses opposite mine and by now, 6:25 a.m, a few people would have already left for work. I glance from the window along the village street and it looks like no-one is home.

The walls of the pub are thick and with modern double glazing it feels wonderfully insulated from the cold winter air.

I saunter into the kitchen and marvel at how the light from the large velux window in the sloping ceiling illuminates the small space. I take a picture to capture the scene.

Then I take some pictures of the bathroom and the freestanding bath that I’m looking forward to soaking in later. It could feature in a magazine - it looks so serene in this light.

Vanilla Chai and real coffee

Time for a cuppa and I’m thrilled to find some sachets of my favourite Pukka vanilla chai herbal tea in a small ceramic pot in the kitchen. While I wait for the kettle to boil, I fling open the window and put my face in the wind. It’s refreshingly cold. The sounds of the outdoors come flooding in. The birdsong beats the sound of buses any day.

After a little time I close the window and turn to make my tea. I notice there’s also a coffee machine. There is nothing like having a proper coffee when you are away from home. It’s these little touches that elevate this place into my kind of place to stay. I haven’t even ventured outside yet as we arrived in the dark last night but I am familiar with the local area having spent some of my childhood here.

Modern technology

My sister has to work today, with the wonders of the modern world we can take our work with us, as long as we have a stable internet connection. I shall busy myself with my photography, and continue working on my latest series of images inspired by my sister, who has a healthy obsession with modern art and all things made of rusty metal!

Mind the beam

We are staying a couple of nights and my biggest challenge is not to smack my head against the low beams. Did I mention we are staying in a very old pub? I am 5ft 10 ish and my head touches the ceiling in some places. In the lounge, and she is shorter than me, even my sis has to duck under one central beam.

I don’t want want to make it sound like a negative because there really are too many positives to mention. You wouldn’t want it any other way. Parts of The Nest date back to 1690. The reality of these historic buildings are the low ceilings.

I take the last sip of my tea, which by now has gone cold and think it’s time for a coffee. What I love about being in the countryside is that even on a grey day it is beautiful. It’s awoken my dream to move from the town. Maybe one day…

Have a good week x

PS. This is not a paid promotion!

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