It appears not turning into work to the office has made very little difference to the run up to Christmas; last week was as hectic as ever. I had four celebration meals out in a week which added to the frenetic feeling and I feel I’m getting past late nights out. We have had four really lovely evenings out – great food and great company, but we were driving back from dinner last night about one in the morning; way past my usual bedtime. The dog still wants to be let out at 6.30 next morning and the horse is banging the stable door to be fed if she hears us. . . . . I have a definite feeling of no get up and go today!
We usually Skype Switzerland on a Sunday morning. The little on was wearing her sleepsuit, pink spotty wellies (which have to be prised off her at the moment – favourite thing) and a couple of plastic necklaces. She has a few words for “Oma” now which is great. They will be over again next month for a few days. We will have a second Christmas and lots of visitors I expect.
GOS as been clearing tree loppings left by the firm that clears trees for the power company. We have power lines running across one field and the garden and every so often we are informed they are coming to clear the lines. We did have a large limb come down in high winds back in the autumn. It stretched one wire almost to the ground and was smouldering merrily, but luckily caused no damage or power cuts and the power company where out with in the hour to deal with it. We will have a good supply of blocks from the bigger pieces cut down this time. We have got a bit behind with the log supply – it is feeling less guilty about using the oil fired heating now it is cheaper! GOS says he has discovered a yellow berried holly on the bank. I still haven’t had to time to go and look, but must cut some holly this coming week for Christmas decorations. The birds have already almost stripped our most prolific tree in the “church” field and it hasn’t been cold. There must be some hungry blackbirds about.
Friday, with the help of my neighbour again, I took lambs to the slaughter house. A very quick journey down the road. That was an early morning start after a dinner out the night before. Butchered meat to be collected Tuesday. It is quite a self satisfied feeling when everything on the Sunday dinner plate is home produced!
Clipped the horse out again in the afternoon. Quite windy so not very pleasant, but a dry afternoon so I did not have much choice really. It has rained every other free day I have had this week. The couple of times the sun has peeped out for a bit, Wednesday afternoon and Friday, it has been unseasonably warm. I “took the field”when out trailing on Wednesday. This really meant looking after a few visitors we had up from London who had hired horses for the purpose. Bit “hairy” to start off with – one beast plunging about; not appreciating a bit of standing around while we got organised: but all was well in the end and the visitors went home thrilled with their ride round the mountains and well up for coming again. A few very steep climbs and my horse was getting quite sweaty in her thickening coat despite the chill wind on the tops. One of the visitors unclipped horses, with a “larger lady” on board found it very hard going! As yet the water levels, apart from a bit of localised flooding on the roads, as been alright in this area. My heart goes out to all the poor people flooded out in Cumbria this week.
The Blacksmith is coming tomorrow and then the horse and I will be all set for the Christmas holidays. My little lady is not very light on her feet and gets through a set of iron shoes every five weeks. We have saved most of the worn old shoes that have been taken off. Himself his supposed to be making a garden feature out of them?? …. watch this space. . . . I have been waiting sometime. The domesticated horse has been shod for thousands of years – the earliest metal Etruscan shoes found have been dated to 400BC and the Romans initially used a rawhide type of boot to protect their horses feet. There has been quite a movement to go “shoeless” in the modern equine world, but here for what I require of my horse – hard work and a lot of roads and tracks from time to time requires hoof protection.
I have made two Christmas cakes (one just now on “stir-up Sunday”). One cake for us at Christmas and one for the Swiss visitation in January. I absolutely love a rich fruit cake with marzipan. The Christmas cake never last long in this household. Really must make shopping list and think what we going to eat this time. . . other than Christmas cake …
Happy Christmas to everyone. I’ll endeavour to get another blog in before the holiday . . . . . . . see how the preparations go.