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Romance with sunflowers


Helen Allingham, “A cottage with sunflowers at Peaslake”

Dear Lord,

You know that I’m not very wealthy, but I know that you own absolutely everything. You own quasars. In fact, you own all the quasars. Even Richard Branston doesn’t own a quasar. Whereas I have three nice cats and quite a good collection of books, you have the Horse Head Nebula.

Maybe you know where this is going… Wait, of course you know where this is going. But you’ve told us to ask for things anyway, even though we know that you already know. You know I’ve had this little dream in my mind for a long long time. Well, I suppose not really a long time for you, but for me quite a while.

Could you please give me a house? It doesn’t need to be a big or fancy one. In fact, I’d be pretty happy with a place like this one…


Maybe it’s a bit silly, a bit romantic, like I’ve really just spent too long reading Tolkien. But it looks like a place to be happy in, don’t you think? And I know the kitties would love the green roof.

(The hippies weren’t wrong about everything.)

I’d be very happy to help with construction too. In fact, it sounds like it would be really fun to do and it would be very useful to know how to build things like this. Next I’d build a little oratory/chapel, and after that a guest house, and then a wood-fired bath house and an outdoor summer kitchen.

Roundhouse built in Cornwall by stonemason Matthew Robin White.

Then I’d build a 12 foot stone wall around the whole thing, with a little gate, (we’ve got lots and lots of rocks around here, so you don’t need to send me any) and I’d hang a bell on the wall next to the gate (I’ve got the perfect bell picked out at the ferramenta in town). Inside, I’d keep bees, ducks and chickens. And maybe a goat, and grow a very large number of sunflowers and pumpkins. Wait, maybe two goats … so the first goat doesn’t get lonely.

horse and his boy 001 (7)

And then when it’s all ready, people could come and visit. One at a time. And we could sing the Divine Office to you in the oratory every morning and say the Rosary to your Mum in the garden so the Great Chastisement doesn’t come and blast us all to smithereens.

It says right in the Psalms that people who have been blasted to smithereens can’t praise you or thank you for things.

For in death there is no remembrance of thee:
in the grave who shall give thee thanks?

Of course, for all this, we require a bit of time. So if you don’t mind, could you also hold off the smiting for just a little while longer?




12 thoughts on “Romance with sunflowers”

  1. Kate says:

    I will pray that your prayers are answered too. I would love to come visit and sing in the oratory and pray the Rosary in the garden to Our Mum.

  2. SAF says:

    ***salvific*** not ‘salvo foci’
    As ever, another futility: spellcheck must die.

  3. SAF says:

    These house photos, the painting and the drawings- it hurts to look at them. I have the same dreams and may acceptance of futility be salvo foci for us all…
    Thank you, by the way, for publishing my comment on the previous thread. I meant every word but was intoxicated and grumpy when I wrote it.
    I appreciate not being blocked for the critical comment. SAF

  4. louiseyvette says:

    Delightful, Hilary, and I watched that whole video. Thanks for sharing it.

  5. Martha says:

    A wood-fired bath house?! Yum! The whole thing sounds like heaven. Or, as close as we can get here.

    Never quit dreaming of, planning, and contemplating the good, true, and beautiful.

  6. Robert says:

    And we shall call you the Hermitess of the Southern March. 🙂

  7. Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner says:

    Truly enjoyed this post. I will add my prayers to yours, that you will one day soon have this prayer answered. I’d love to visit your chapel once it’s completed.

  8. Eejay says:

    Reminds me of Bag End. Does it come with the option of round green doors?

  9. Fuquaysteve says:

    Nice…very nice. I pray your prayer is answered.

  10. Carey says:


  11. Lionel Andrades says:

    I know of an Iranian who has been living in Rome for a very long time, he probably has refuge status. He has also worked at the Jesuit centre for refugees (Astali) and was active in a parish in Rome. His family is Muslim and he remains a Muslim.
    A bishop in Rome ( retired?) he tells me has allotted money for him to buy a plot of land in Viterbo or some place there.He still is working on getting the land regularised etc.He will then go there and develop it.He is presently living in a Centro di Accoglienza in Rome. He goes often with a rep. of the bishop to see the place they have chosen.
    I also know of another refuge, whose nationality is still unknown since he claimed to have lost his documents and is really Australian. A Vatican Cardinal gave a large sum of money to settle the problem.
    So may be you could see if there is some bishop or cardinal who will donate you a sum of money to buy land.
    I have recently been to Reiti, where St. Francis of Assisi and the Friars lived before they went to Rome for the approval of their Rule. It’s a beautiful place.
    I hope you could get some nice land -may be even at Reiti. -Lionel

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