Monday, 22 December 2008

Another Year Older . . .

The weekend went by in a whirl and I'm back at my desk trying to remember it all. One minute there were just two of us dozing by the fire, the next the house was full of children (young and old). We had a very easy going party on Saturday. I activated the Birthday Girl's prerogative and did the food I like (which happened to be easy to prepare), washed down with English-can't-call-it-Champagne. I was completely overwhelmed by the mountain of cards (and emails and texts and flowers), and especially the thought and planning that went into the presents from Henry and the children. Henry knew which hi-tech gadget I secretly yearned for, and Victoria, James and Rob (and families) came up with a complete on-off. From an idea by Victoria, designed by Rob and sourced by James, they created an especially commissioned pendant. No one else has, or will have one like it.
The pace didn't let up on Sunday. After persuading everyone they really only wanted one slice of toast for breakfast, we were able to enjoy a family lunch at a local pub/restaurant.
And then they were gone. After an exchange of brightly wrapped parcels (and I'm still not convinced the right ones went in the right cars) it was back to the two of us.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Nothing Changes

After work today I'm off to the supermarket to stock up on a few more essentials. We are pretty well fully stocked now, but you can never have too much. And it's been like that for over 200 years. This is an extract from The Daily Universal Register's Christmas Day Editorial of 1787 -

"Let the larder be well stuffed with provisions. Let the cellar be well stored with liquors, and let there be plenty of fuel to make roaring fires - for Christmas is come... there should not only be enough to eat, and enough to drink, but also enough to give away. When the heart rejoices in the hour of conviviality, it should be remembered, that thousands are oppressed with grief."

Friday, 12 December 2008

A Quiet Week

Not a lot has been happening at Strickley this week. All the stock are now inside, which means more of the day is taken up with feeding and mucking out. It's a long time to turnout. Henry and James have been hedging and Arthur has been doing a bit of walling. Who's Arthur you may ask? Is this a new worker? It's Henry's brother who has retired from gainful employment, but being 20 minutes younger than Henry is far too young to sit by the fire all day. He did his apprenticeship building a wall round his garden (rumour has it he learned from an article on the Internet), and is now a fully qualified expert in repairing the endless slips in our walls. Click here to see hedging and walling. But Arthur has another new job on Sunday. Top Secret - but it involves wearing a special costume that only comes out once a year. Don't tell anyone!

Meanwhile my Christmas preparations are going according to plan. The cake's made (but needs icing). The presents are all bought (but need wrapping). The cards are printed and envelopes written (but need signing). The tree is ordered (delivered this weekend). Grocery deliveries booked (pre Birthday and pre Christmas). Wine ordered and arrived. Large sack of bread flour ordered. Coke ordered (due today).

And the festivities have begun. Last week it was the North West Shorthorn Society Christmas Dinner, tonight I'm out on the town with friends from work and tomorrow we're out to dinner with a local Shoot.

Time for a rest and/or do some work.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Lost Christmas

Lost - "The Best Christmas Album in the World Ever"

Found - in slot 6 of the car's CD changer, where it's been hiding since January 6th.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

So far today. . . .

. . . .

Snow.
Bulk feed wagon stuck in lane - pushed up by digger.
Tractor skidded and stuck down a ramp.
Cow down with milk fever.
School and pre-school closed.

It's a good job I'm off work and here to entertain two little boys!