Today is one of those days. The air is still and the temperature on our outside thermometer hovers around nought. There are still patches of ice on the lane and the puddles on the sides of the lane which have not been broken by traffic have a thin, pretty film of icy patterns. One our walk earlier I couldn't resist jumping on some of them. Alright - I might be an old dear but I can still enjoy myself with simple pleasures. Tess, in her thick winter coat, doesn't seem to notice the cold to any degree, being far more interested in pheasant and rabbit smells.
At the bird table the birds are devouring the fat which we hung in the rowan tree. The meal worms on the table are slowly going. Two robins are eyeing them warily but have not yet ventured under the canopy - it takes a day or two for them to trust it, but if we had the table without a roof, the food would get so wet.
This morning the farmer kept warm by sawing wood for the stove and chopping sticks for kindling. Yesterday he dug part of the vegetable garden and would probably have done the same today except that I got cross with him for being out in the cold at his age. So he has stayed in this afternoon, lit the stove and as I write this is trying to fit a few more pieces in the jig saw of Herdwick sheep I bought him the other week. It is proving hard to do, but he is nothing if not determined and says he will have it done in time for it to be cleared away for Christmas goodies to be put on the table.
- A fortnight today will be the big day. Santa will have been and we shall all be sitting down to roast turkey at around this time. Speaking of Santa reminds me that I read an amusing story in today's Times about someone called Mr Santer, who happened to have a heart attack around this time of the year. When his wife phoned the emergency services and gave her name they said something along the lines of, "Oh yeah, I suppose he had too much to drink with his elves - we always get some joker at this time of the year!" Keep warm.