Well, it had to come didn't it; that first morning when the wind was blowing from the North East and was strong and cutting. And when one minute there would be a 'glishy' sun, the next black clouds would cover the sun and heavy sleet/snow would fall for a few minutes. In other words it is a day when it is better for staying indoors by the wood burner than it is for walking. The farmer kindly took Tess for her lunchtime walk - I couldn't face the cold.
I imagine the television will be on before long as it is the Snooker final from the Barbican (O'Sullivan v Trump) and the farmer is a keen fan. I am not but I must say that last night's cliff hanger of a semi final did find me putting down my book (Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch) and watching the action.
Our little town switched on its Christmas lights last night and Santa made a visit to the market square. Tonight our village is doing the same (mince pies and mulled wine added). We just have to face up to it - Christmas is creeping nearer.
We resist decorating until Christmas Eve when we make a real day of it, putting up the holly wreaths and the lights, stoking up the fires, heating the mince pies and starting Christmas from that point. There will be no berries left on the variegated holly tree which stands just outside the kitchen window - a blackbird visits daily and takes a few at a time (well, I presume it is the same bird). I don't really begrudge him his feed - his need is far greater than ours.
When I lived in the Midlands my then husband and I used to visit Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire at the beginning of December to see the Mistletoe Auction (and hopefully to buy a bunch to hang in the doorway). Driving through Herefordshire and Worcestershire you realise just how plentiful mistletoe is as it hangs in great swags from all the trees in the apple orchards. I have tried poking a seed down into the branches of apple trees many times over the years but I have never succeeded in getting one to grow.
As I write this the sun is shining again. The farmer has just come back from his walk and tells me that Tess has jumped into my chair by the Aga and settled down on my cushion for the afternoon. She is not allowed on the furniture, but I just haven't the heart to move her (and what is more she knows it). I am far too daft with that dog.