Your humble correspondent recently had the pleasure to be invited to this nice country cottage:
There was a slightly overgrown but very nice garden with a few berries still left. In October!
I was reminded about Lawrence's Clouds Hill, although I believe this cottage has many facilities in comparison with T.E.'s ascetic digs. Nevertheless, I think it serves much the same purpose for its owner. I admit to being a bit jealous.
In the evening I cooked a simple vegan dinner with an apple pie for dessert. There was wine and a very good brandy (Braastad's XO) to go with the coffee. We sat and talked late about many things; going all the way from the foundation of mathematics we even touched the rather dull subject of computer security.
I left the day after feeling a bit down, wishing I could isolate myself quite as easily. Since then I haven't turned on my computer and mostly spent my time at home, caring for a sick daughter and reading a biography of Kim Philby and no less than two Le Carré novels.
After reading the spy novels I have to admit I'm almost ashamed that I had suspected Mr. Cornwell of writing pulp fiction. This is great literature.