...before the turkey needs to go into the oven. And I realise that any of our American friends have got to negotiate Thanksgiving before that. But, judging by the shop windows in our little market town, Christmas is very close indeed. Out have come the reindeer, the sleighs, the snowflakes, the fake snow and all the other paraphernalia of Christmas and away have gone all the things you might wish to buy. Never mind, as I say every year, it will soon be over.
But one thing is different here on the farm. Since last year the farmer has bought a new field. It sits among our other fields and so completes the block of fields, which is very satisfying. The centre of the field had been planted with young Christmas trees which had been sadly neglected, so much so that when the field first came into our hands the farmer was all for digging them up.
But instead he cleared a lot of the long grass from around them and so gave them room to breathe. Many are struggling, but some are flourishing and will be ready for Christmas this year. I am not at all tempted to have one - the thought of pine needles drives away any longing for the real thing - although there is nothing to beat that lovely smell of pine at Christmas.
Most of the holly berries have been stripped by the fieldfares; there are a few left and I hope they will still be there to bring in for Christmas but I am philosophical about it, certain that if the snow comes (and some is forecast for this week) then the birds' need is greater than ours.
One thing is for sure as far as Christmas is concerned. Next Sunday - November 25th - is Stir-up Sunday, so next Saturday is the day I make my Christmas puddings (Delia's recipe as every year), so that any friends and relations who can be roped in to visit on Sunday can give the bowl a stir for luck. Far better than putting sixpenny pieces in the pudding - a sure tooth-breaker if ever there was one.
Get writing those cards!