Visiting the house in March, continuing the theme of our life, warts and all




It has been an interesting few weeks in our family. Darling Daughter returned to work after maternity leave. She has a responsible job involving standing up for those who don’t have a voice any other way, and we are proud of her for her commitment to the dispossessed. Returning to work inevitably meant that GrandBoy Number 4 started at nursery. At the end of his first week he arrived home going down with a bug. By the end of that weekend he was sufficiently poorly that these GrandParents were called to action to look after him on Monday. Monday turned into Tuesday and he continued to get worse such that a visit to the GP led to a referral to the Child Assessment Unit (effectively Paediatric A & E) at our local hospital. He continued to go downhill and was admitted. Thankfully a diagnosis was made reasonably quickly and effective treatment followed which enabled him to return home after two nights (apparently a typical stay). Clearly there were a number of previously un-encountered bugs and this GrandMa caught several of them. I came out to France on Monday morning (other GrandParents being on standby just in case) absolutely heavy with cold, flu, bugs … call it what you will. I was sneezing so much that I was prepared for EasyJet to deny boarding. Fortunately they didn’t …

Tempest Zeus was on the rampage however and 160kph winds roared in an easterly direction across France from the Atlantic. My plane flew right through the storm. The flight was probably the bumpiest I have ever experienced and even the cabin crew, usually fairly poker-faced, were clearly relieved when we landed safely. I usually choose to sit at the front so was in a good position to observe.

So far, in our ownership of the house, we have always flown to France and hired a car on arrival. We usually fly from Gatwick to Bordeaux (BA or Easyjet who we prefer) although have occasionally used the Flybe Southampton to Bergerac route which we like but which never seems to be at the right times or on the right days for us. We have used several different car hire companies. Some were absolutely fine. One or two are so awful that we’ve blacklisted them. Sometimes we book through Holiday Autos, but often we click straight through to EuropCar from the EasyJet site when we book our flights. I’m quite relaxed about what car I’m allocated. I don’t mind whether its manual or automatic, smart or not. A benefit to using hire cars is the opportunity to choose a vehicle which suits your needs on that particular trip. So in our long summer visit last year we had three different cars, ranging from a small hatchback to a large Renault Espace (gorgeous car ideal to transport GrandBoys). We have also hired a minibus, and a van at other times. This time I was given a Dacia Duster … hmm … a bit basic but it goes from A to B and that’s all I need.


On Monday my drive to the house from Bordeaux airport was as straightforward as usual despite the high winds. It is now becoming a very familiar route but nevertheless I took extra care because of the extreme conditions. I turned left into the drive on arrival, stopped to open the gates, and looked to my right. A large poplar had been blown down by the storm. It had fallen towards the road but fortunately wasn’t long enough to extend beyond the ditch. It had damaged a couple of sections of our fence and, I later discovered, brought down a telephone wire. This is the first time we’ve experienced a tree down, but it is a common occurrence in rural France.

This reinforced our decision to prioritise the work on the trees. We have a number of poplars, planted decades ago as a crop, now long past their best. They are brittle and snap easily. Some are taller than, and encroaching on, the main electricity cables. So they need to come down. The tree surgeon and his associates are currently waiting on the electricity company for a meeting to discuss safety given the proximity of electrical cables.

There were two purposes to my visit. Firstly, this was “The March Visit” (in keeping with our desire to visit every calendar month. Secondly I wanted to run the mower over the grass, strim some key areas, and take weedkiller around all the boundaries. I realise some readers will be offended by my use of the “W” word. I will return to the topic in a future blog post as the issue is very far from black and white.

I’m in a busy work period so (as always) I have my laptop with me and have spent significant periods of time working (constantly being thankful that living in the internet age enables us to have this adventure in the first place). But I can adjust my working day to give me time outside to do garden work.

HOWEVER … firstly I have this dreadfully heavy cold and have felt awful. Secondly the weather has kept me inside. The wind was so strong on my arrival day that it would have been dangerous to try and work outside. And yesterday it rained heavily all day. So I’ve done little or none of what I came out to do. .

So, my plan to dash out here, do a bit of essential garden maintenance, and then dash back has been well and truly thwarted. Such is life divided between two homes and I’m reminded that I need to find someone to help me in the garden. A number of good gardeners operate in this region but they tend to take full responsibility for a property, strimming and mowing everything to within an inch of its life. And that’s not what I want. I want to find someone who will be a real right-hand person, who will understand that I’m head gardener and will be happy to operate alongside me under my guidance, doing the jobs that I just don’t have the time to do, but doing them in the same way that I would if I did have the time.

As I write this, in our little office in the centre of the house, I have been listening to the sounds of some critter or other rushing around the ceiling cavity above me. It is slightly disconcerting to be honest. But maybe they and their forebears have been here longer than us. I shall break for dinner in a moment (yellow chicken casseroled with local red wine). And then I shall sort myself out for the early start tomorrow for Bordeaux and return to the UK. The French Air Traffic Controllers have been messing around this week and a number of flights have been cancelled. I haven’t heard anything from EasyJet so am hoping mine isn’t one of them. I do need to be back in the UK tomorrow.

Almost every visit that I’ve made to the French house has included two recurring elements: collecting or taking delivery of new furniture (often bought via a Facebook group), and meeting with contractors. This visit has been no exception. I had bought another double bed which will go in the bedroom we have named Poppy (to add to the existing two baby cots and single bed). The previous owners kindly brought it over. And I’ve met with J the menuisier and M the macon, both of whom are involved with ongoing works. J has a few more shutters to instal, and is going to make a door to separate the office from the kitchen. Currently this opening is closed off by a VERY temporary solution installed as an emergency ready for last summer’s guests. M will be fixing the west face of the house, under the covered terrace, which is currently rather scruffy and possibly unstable.

When we embarked on this adventure did we fully realise that it would become a major hobby? Perhaps not, but we are nevertheless thoroughly enjoying the process.

Here are some photos that I took this afternoon on a quick walk around. They really do show the current situation warts and all! Here’s hoping that every blog post from now on doesn’t necessarily follow the same theme!

Viburnum opulus is a favourite shrub round these parts. Ours had been filled with these brambles now destined for the bonfire


Violets growing in an area of grass at the front of the house
This is what Zantedeschia looks like as it emerges from winter dormancy. They are popular plants in this area, most people seem to have some. Ours is in a damp/pond area.
I don’t remember seeing celandine last spring. We fought a battle against it in our Surrey garden. There are an ominous number of clumps emerging this spring. We may have to simply celebrate it as it is so difficult to eradicate. It does have a beauty of its own.
Lichen on the trunk of a lime tree (tilia) which will soon be covered in fragrant blossom seemingly addictive to bees
Nettles. A clump of nettles. We have a few.

The west face of the house, under the covered terrace, to be renovated by the macon and shutters to be added by the menuisier.

I’m really not sure what this is or what we should do with it. Pampas grass … of course … of some variety. But it hasn’t produced any flowers and hasn’t really excelled in any way.
A very half-hearted stab at a pond. We inherited some goldfish who lived quite happily for 14 months until January this year when they disappeared. We don’t know whether the low temperatures or a heron did for them, or whether some visiting dogs trampled them into oblivion when they decided to run in and out of the water. The pond does not have a long-term future but in the meantime we keep the water running. And, yes, I know I need to fish out the plane leaves.
Cercis Siliquastrum (the Judas Tree). This time last year, neither of us knowing what this was, the OH in all his new-found “French house owner” mode decided it needed to be pollarded. When it started to flower we realised we had cut off much of the flowering wood. So this year we have left it as it is to enjoy more flowers. It will need some attention after flowering.
I decided to cut (hack?) back the lavender. I’ve cut it so hard that it is doubtful whether it will come back. But everything grows so fast and so well in this part of France that you never know … A trusty helper will transport this to the bonfire and deal with it in my absence.
Some fruit trees are already flowering
Others aren’t yet but this, a delicious cherry, is pregnant with promise

The first of the poplars to finally come to the end of its life, this one as a result of Monday’s storm. Many more will be at the hands of the tree surgeon.

Poplars do have pretty flowers. One doesn’t normally get the opportunity to see them at close quarters.

At the entrance to the property several old wallflowers are seeding themselves around. They are very welcome.

Compost is very important to us. In due course we will have a purpose-built series of bays (think “Monty Don”…). In the meantime we have a temporary solution with two bays made from pallets soon to be extended to five bays so that we can turn this and start creating the black gold that will help transform this garden.

This damp area, lying lower than the house, loosely described for the time being as “The Pond” is likely to become an exotic/tropical style area. I have always wanted to grow gunnera and this seems like the perfect spot. For the moment it is a complete mess!


Arum Italicum grows absolutely everywhere. In due course we will need to be very selective about where we allow it to remain.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this snapshot of a flying visit not without its difficulties.

A February visit: warts and all

A question we are often asked is, “How will you divide your time between the two homes?”. The answer is not straightforward as we both have busy working lives and family commitments. Some kind of answer will evolve over time but one principle we have adopted is to try never to leave either home abandoned and alone for more than a month or so at a time. A good way of measuring whether we are successful at doing this is to ensure that we visit every calendar month, regardless of the time of year.

I have returned today to Sussex from my February visit, made solo as R was travelling elsewhere for work meetings. Here’s a quick resume of my February visit:

I arrived in the midst of a tempête (very high winds) to find the electricity down and our farmer neighbour S zooming up and down the properties along the line trying to identify whether (and if so where) a branch might have fallen onto the line. Thankfully power was not off for long but in the meantime I thought it prudent to go in search of more torches. I bought the last one in our local Gamm Vert.

I spent some time looking ruefully at all the sticks and branches brought down by the wind, and all the leaves still hanging around from last autumn. What do other people do with so many leaves? We have gazillions, far more than can be put into a leaf-mould enclosure.

I collected an old pine wardrobe/chest of drawers, bought secondhand through a Facebook group, with the help of our trusty Man with a Van.

On Wednesday I had a visit from an arboriculturalist (arboriculturist?) and tree surgeon to review the future of the large number of mature and post-mature trees and to share information for the preparation of his devis (quotation).

A chimney sweep visited for the first time in our ownership of the property, and we now fully understand why the wood-burning stove in the sitting room wasn’t working … and will not do so again.

For the third time in succession I failed to light a bonfire. This is a major blow as my record as a fire-raiser was previously unchallenged. Can anyone recommend a fire-raising workshop?

Back in the days when I successfully had bonfires …

The leaves of the Musa Basjoo had been fried by January’s very low temperatures so I decided to tidy it up. A tidy up turned into a bit of a massacre. However I hear that the grues (cranes) are beginning their migration so I’m taking this as a sure sign that winter is now on the wane and am trusting that I’ve not acted prematurely.


The weather this week has been glorious, sunshine and rising temperatures. In sheltered spots the temperatures hit the high 20s.

Digger Dave visited to talk about how we might adapt the perimeter fencing to be more successful at keeping rabbits and badgers out. There is enough open countryside for miles around to feel quite justified in asking them to stay on the other side of our fence.

Our trusty electrician visited to upgrade a junction box which will ensure that the final flaky area of electrics no longer trip when they feel like it. Electrics in France are very different from the UK.

I tried to help our lovely French neighbour C catch one of her chickens which had found itself in an area of no-man’s land between our two properties. I’m not sure what the final outcome was …

I did a bit of pruning, all the non-climbing roses and two  large budleias. I don’t know what cultivar they are but last summer’s flowers were enormous and fragrant. I also hacked (I can’t say pruned) most of the hibiscus (not my favourite shrub) of which there are many. I don’t expect them to survive the master plan.

But I still haven’t managed to prune the small number of lavender bushes. They may be done for. If so it won’t be a disaster as lavender is a short-lived plant anyway and this is probably not a long term position for them.


We haven’t started planting yet so flowering interest is few and far between. Here’s one or two.

The first lizard of the year appeared on the south-facing front of the house. Subsequently more appeared in the warm sunshine as the week wore on. I wish they wouldn’t lurk in the window frames, ready to leap out and shout “boo!” every time I open a window …

The first lizard of the year, on a south-facing wall

It was great to see the new French windows, traditional style, which had been installed in a downstairs bedroom since my previous visit. Further discussions took place about next phases of work with the menuisier (window/door/joinery man) and maçon (stone-mason). The shutters do need to be repainted …


Oh, and I treated myself to Eggs Benedict at Gatwick Airport last Monday morning prior to departure.

Eggs Benedict with field mushrooms @ Jamie’s

I will return to some of these topics in more detail in future posts. Which ones would you be most interested in? Why not follow my blog so you can follow along with our French adventure?

Inspirations: Château de Marqueyssac

Three summers ago while on holiday in the Dordogne with friends, before we thought of buying a property in France, we visited the gardens at Château de Marqueyssac, one of France’s Jardins Remarquable. I had read about the gardens, and seen Joe Swift’s * feature on Gardener’s World in October 2011, and determined that we must go. So the opportunity was perfect.



Situated on a cliff top high above the Dordogne river, the Château overlooks verdant and productive agricultural land in the alluvial river valley, and woodland on distant hillsides. It was built at the end of the 17th century by Bertrand Vernet de Marqueyssac, Counsellor to Louis XIV. The original design of the garden is attributed to a pupil of Andre le Notre (designer of the gardens at Versailles) and featured terraces, allées and a kitchen garden immediately by the Château.

Garden foreground, landscape background, seamlessly merging from one to the other

In the middle decades of the 19th century a chapel was constructed, and from 1860 a new owner began to plant thousands of boxwood trees (over 150,000 of them today) and have them clipped into fantastic shapes. Various other trees were also planted (including limes, cypresses, hornbeams), a number of structures built, and over 5k of walks laid out. Time again took its toll with the gardens falling into disrepair and abandon but a new owner in 1996 began extensive restoration work and Marqueyssac was opened to the public in March 1997. It is now the most visited garden in the region.

img_6467                  img_6468

We were completely bowled over. At the risk of sounding pretentious the garden presents a real allegory of the tension between man and nature. Close to the Château the topiary is closely clipped and regimented (although very unconventional and flamboyant in design). img_6500The further one moves away from the building the looser the clip becomes, until at the furthest extremities of the park there is little difference between the plants one side of the boundary or the other. The garden is firmly rooted in its landscape.

This area, in front of the Chateau, with rectangular blocks, is less often photographed
A more familiar view, with buns, rounds, bobbles …


The santolina and rosemary allée

I suspect many visitors stay within the manicured areas which are spectacular. But when you visit please be prepared to cover some distance and walk throughout the entire garden to enjoy the full effect of the amazing transformation from the hand of man to the hand of nature. I think you too will be overwhelmed by the exuberance, inventiveness, and sheer beauty of the garden and its location.

How did our visit to Marqueyssac inspire us?

A traditional French garden has many formal areas, relying heavily on clipped box (actually, French gardeners clip and pollard most plants if given half a chance!). We will be incorporating some of these elements into our design. The jury is still out on whether it would be prudent to plant much box in these days of box blight and box tree caterpillar.

Alternatives to box, for low close-clipped hedges, are currently being trialled at RHS Wisley in the walled garden (although I can’t find any formal reference to it online) and written about elsewhere. Opinions vary as to whether any truly viable alternative has yet been identified. Few if any alternatives seem to offer every advantage of box which is so versatile, so forgiving. We are keeping our ears and eyes open, still hoping that real remedies to both box problems will be found before we start planting so we can continue with the wonderful French box tradition.

The second main influence was to start us thinking about the sense of place, and the transition between formal near the house and natural at the furthest extremities. More recently (and I shall probably write about this in due course) I attended a day’s course with Arne Maynard at his wonderful house and garden, Allt-y-bela in the Welsh borders. Arne is a master at siting a garden well within its landscape, and moving gently but purposefully between man (house) and nature (boundaries).

Footnotes and afterthoughts

1 Joe Swift was on my most recent flight from Gatwick to Bordeaux, but I decided not to disturb him and left him in peace.
2 The friends we were holidaying with three summers ago decided not to come with us to Marqueyssac. Instead they spent time looking at French properties on Rightmove which they told us about when we returned … the rest is history …
3 The stone tiles on the roof of the Château weigh upwards of 500 tons


The first year; an important decision

The best advice given to the owners of any new garden is to live with it for a year as it is before making any changes. Whether because we were directly following that advice, or whether because we were up to our eyes and ears in building work, we have assiduously maintained the garden as it was when we first took ownership and not made any changes at all.

Well, that in itself might be a rather ambitious claim as the previous owner kept the garden immaculate and I have attempted to do so but have had to make do with “tidy-ish”. It really isn’t too bad, and the most important thing is that this slight hiatus has allowed us time to come to an important decision.

I am full of ideas. An exotic style garden. A parterre. A labyrinth. An orchard. A flower meadow. Topiary. Of course. Lots of topiary. Pleaching. Edible hedges. A petanque court. A grassy area for childrens’ games. Flowers (in what I’m coming to understand is thought of in Continental Europe as the “English style”). Pebble mosaics. Water features. Gates. Paths. Rills. A pigeonnier. Pergolas. Seating areas in sun and shade. A new pool. Encouragement of the orchids. Compost bays. A hydrangea walk. Garden rooms galore. … … … and so on … … …

Yes, you’re getting the idea. I have so many ideas and not a little knowledge, but what is lacking is any real understanding of how to join this all up together so that there is a natural flow and journey around the garden, maximising enjoyment of the views and all the different areas. I wanted to avoid the sense that a random collection of garden features had landed from outer space, neither connected to each other nor to the landscape around.

In April I joined Arne Maynard, renowned garden designer and RHS Chelsea Gold medallist, at his house and garden, Allt-y-bela in the Welsh borders, for a day’s course. It was organised by the Garden Museum in London (of which I’m a Lifetime Friend), and around 20 of us (some professionals, some keen amateurs) explored the concepts around evoking the spirit of place. A warm spring sun shone for most of the day, and Arne’s own natural warmth made the day memorable, informative, and thoroughly enjoyable. I’d hoped that I’d return home with some magical new skill in garden design. Not so, rather I had an increasing awareness that I needed help.

Fortunately, when I broached the idea to my husband, he immediately agreed that we needed professional input. So I sent out some feelers, followed up several suggestions, and we have now appointed an English landscape architect who lives in Paris, who has the most interesting background and connections, to help us create the master plan for the garden. She has made her first site visit, and we have commissioned a géomètre (land surveyor) who has visited and taken all the measurements and readings. We await his  initial drawings, and then we will be in business to start work on that wonderful master plan.

Budget for implementation is limited, and we will undoubtedly develop the garden in stages as and when funds become available. But by having a master plan from the outset we hope to create something special, something that will stand the test of time and perhaps even outlive us. I hope it doesn’t sound too ambitious or perhaps even pompous to say that we want to create a great garden, one that people will want to visit, one that we will be proud of opening to visitors.

These are interesting and exciting times – in the truest sense of those words.



The hedge I’ve grown to hate

Slightly off-topic, forgive me. And this is also a bit of a rant.

But its that time of year when a huge proportion of British gardens are aflame with the fiery new shoots of Photinia (usually Red Robin) along mile after mile of recently planted suburban hedge. It is recommended for planting for spring colour, and it seems to thrive wherever it is planted. So we are seeing it more and more such that it has almost achieved Ubiquitous status. But is it a suitable plant for a hedge, or a small space?

What most people don’t seem to realise is that left to its own devices it grows into a large shrub with beautiful frothy white spring flowers interspersed with a few fiery new shoots. It needs space to do that. And space isn’t what most people give it.

So it is clipped and snipped and forced into shapes and sizes much too small for its inclinations. Flowering wood is cut off, and all we ever see are those new spring shoots, which let’s be honest are often more of a dingy brown than a fiery red. And their owners keep clipping and snipping throughout the year, so the poor shrub thinks it lives in some everlasting spring, so keeps sending out those new shoots. And it ends up looking much the same throughout the whole year, which rather defeats the object.

By contrast, here in South-West France where space is not at a premium and many people have large gardens if not land, we see many examples of Photinia which has been left to its own devices and is thriving and looking magnificent. Here’s a quick snap taken in a supermarket car park in Eymet in the southern Dordogne last week. Don’t you agree it looks better with the frothy flowers to offset those new shoots?


The first spring

We took over ownership of the French house at the end of November 2015, still pinching ourselves to be sure that this was really happening. Since then we have made a number of visits, enjoying unseasonably warm weather during December and then experiencing (not enjoying!) cold, wet, stormy weather throughout much of January and February.

By the middle of March signs of spring were beginning to appear, with plants being a clear 2-3 weeks ahead of progress in the south of England. Overnight temperatures were still quite low, with the odd frost, but when the sun came out there was warmth in it that those in the UK would only experience in late spring or early summer. The region is renowned for its plum orchards, plums destined to be turned into prunes, and the blossom is

Plum orchards in full blossom, acres and acres of them

currently at its peak. It is quite something to drive through miles of countryside past acre after acre of plum orchards in full bloom.

I have many ideas for the design of the garden, most of which are still quite undeveloped and disjointed. I have taken on board advice from those wiser and more experienced than I, to consider how the garden sits in the landscape, focal points, journeys around the garden. But I still have pretty much just a list of ideas. I’m going on a day’s course with Arne Maynard later this month to help me work towards a more cohesive design which sits well within its landscape.

Today two old ramshackle barns were demolished. They had been earmarked for demolition from the start as they were neither functional, beautiful nor historic. And after the storms in late January they were unsafe and quite dangerous. We didn’t expect them to be demolished today; indeed the Mairie earlier in the week told us not to before applying for permission. But the message didn’t seem to get through to the man with the bulldozer and so we will need to square this with the Mairie in due course. We will be pleased to see the back of the barns as they were eyesores as well as dangerous, and this will open up a key area in the journey around the garden.

Our land is this side of the fence, the farmer’s the other

We have been having perimeter fencing installed (mainly to keep visiting GrandBoys within the bounds). It is in a very rural, agricultural style, and we hope that it won’t suburbanise the plot nor act as any kind of visual barrier with the true agriculture on the other side of our boundary.

Our primary aim for the coming year is to continue to maintain the garden as we bought it, as we learn how the sun comes round, how the temperatures fluctuate in different areas, wind speeds and directions, soil type, rain, water retention … And of course to discover what plants are already in residence.

We can probably see and identify most of them, but I was very pleasantly surprised last week to find some lily of the valley coming up on the edge of the drive reasonably close to the house. That was unexpected.

Lily of the valley, unexpectedly appearing at the side of the drive

We won’t know what some of the trees are until their leaves are fully out (and maybe even flowering). We know there are plenty of “weeds”, for example too many poplars, some well past their best and quite unstable. So there will be some culling on a fairly grand scale.

And there is a lot of grass, a huge amount. Mowing is going to become an important part of our lives for some time to come!

Lady Smocks all Silver White

Cardamine Pratensis or Lady’s Smock, a link between our two homes

So, how did this adventure come about? Having listened to some friends talking about their ideas to buy a house in France (initially with not a little envy), being quite amazed to discover from RightMove quite how much value the French property market offered, we looked at each other with the same thought in mind, expressed out loud as “we could do that, shall we think about it?”.

So we thought about it. We discussed every angle of two-centre living, whether it was feasible financially (just, if we were careful), how we could manage our work (the wondrous internet), our family, and all aspects of our lives. However hard we tried we couldn’t find any flaws in the idea. Our close family’s response was unanimous: “Go for it!”. Finally, we widened the discussion to our circle of trusted close friends, and again the only responses were wholly positive and affirming.

So we went for it; given that I’d owned the family house for 39 years it was hardly a sudden move! We found our ideal UK base very quickly, had to go ahead in order not to lose it, and for the first five months of 2015 owned two UK houses. This was a real challenge financially, but it enabled us to completely update, refurbish, and redecorate our new Sussex home. We never doubted that we were doing the right thing, even though the process ended up taking longer than we might have expected and required more patience and trust than we knew we had.

Driving back and forth between Surrey and Sussex, on an almost daily basis throughout the spring of 2015 as we supervised (and did many of) the improvements, was a surprisingly positive experience as we were able to watch and enjoy the hedgerows and wild flowers gradually opening and coming into flower. One flower I had never particularly noticed before was Cardamine Pratensis, commonly known as Lady’s Smock or Cuckoo Flower. We stopped the car several times to take a look and enjoy the delicacy of the colour and flower form.

Time passed, the family house was sold, we found our perfect French home, the legal processes chugged through, and eventually it was ours at the end of November 2015. Imagine my surprise, as I have been watching for signs of spring in France in visits over the last few weeks, to see Cardamine Pratensis appearing all over one part of the garden. It is almost as though it is acting as a special link between the two homes, reinforcing the rightness of our decision.

When daisies pied and violets blue
And lady-smocks all silver white
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men; for thus sings he:
“Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo!” O, word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!
Love’s Labours Lost, William Shakespeare