Monday 30 December 2019
Christmas has been lovely despite both the Farmer and I having had heavy colds during the preceding couple of weeks which only cleared by Christmas Eve. However, we struggled on and had our usual quiet Christmas Day going to walk along wide beaches and watch the waves of a reasonably calm sea whilst enjoying smoked salmon sandwiches. We run away from the full full family gathering on the Day but this is made up for by the extended family descending on us on Boxing Day by which time the grandchildren have calmed down a bit. We were fifteeen for the day, a group covering four generations. Some of the family are on holiday in New Zealand and others in Australia and Canada for the festive season but with the wonders of modern technology communication was easy and cheerful.
Christmas here is a mixture of tradition and mainly secular activity though the Farmer and I do play a lot of wonderful baroque Christmas music and make a point of listening to the Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College Chapel, Cambridge whilst decorating the Christmas tree...that is definitely a family tradition, decorations go up on Christmas Eve and not before. The house is rich in the scents of baking mince-pies, wood-smoke, spices in mulled wine, the resin of the tree and over Christmas week we have a stream of visitors so there is the heady scent of freshly ground coffee to add to the catalogue of festive aromas. The grandchildren came in to help decorate the tree and had wonderful time rummaging through my boxes of decorations, many of which are over a 100 years old having belonged to the Farmer's grandmother. We have a considerable collection of beautiful items as Father Christmas alway brought a new decoration for our boys when they were little as well as the ones that date back to my childhood and those that I have been unable to resist buying, such as the glass flying geese,the brass sea-shells, painted glass birds and a magnificent and noble glass stag with gilded antlers. Each year I have great fun finding a beautiful tree decoration for the grandchildren. This year they were given a gleaming green crocodile-king wearing a splendid crown and a gilded zebra also crwoned...zany but beatiful.
The major decsion I referred to earlier is that the Farmer & I have decided the time has come for us to move out of the main farmhouse to allow Elder Son and his family to move in giving them much needed extra space. We shall swap houses essentially so we are moving into the very quirky little two bedroom cottage, a former coach-house, while they will come to enjoy the spacious four-bedroom main house. It is all rather exciting thought the prospect of having to pack up everything to move across the yard is daunting. The Farmer has lived in this house for 60 years so it is a big decision to move out though the little house is going to be lovely and we will will put our mark on it quite quickly. January, February & March are going to be very busy! We hope to have the moves done by the beginning of April.
The week before Christmas we lost our dear old sheep-dog Mollie. She was thirteen years old and had been fine until just a couple of months ago when she began tp slowed down and just gradually faded away. We miss her as does our post-lady who always had a treat for her (and the all the other dogs here!) each morning when she delivered the mail, but the young dog, Judy is coming on well though she is not as good a working dog as Mollie, just a bit too flighty but ever trying to please.
All Very Best Wishes for 2020
Blwyddyn Newydd Hapus