Yesterday - January 6th - was epiphany, the day on which, in the Western Christian calendar, the Christchild was shown to the three wise men; the day on which I am always reminded of the TS Eliot poem 'A cold coming they had of it'. The journey of the magi is always depicted as the three, all of differing races, shown on their camels arriving in full regalia dripping with gold. We have had seven cards this year showing them and they all but one glisten with riches.
Ronald Blythe calls these 'neighbourly days', days when friends and neighbours splash through the mud and dress up to brave the cold and wet and call for a coffee. This morning friend W and I sat for a large part of the morning in the bay window of a coffee house in our little town, drinking a cappucino and watching the world go by while at the same time agreeing that at our age we knew our idea of solving any of the world's many problems was pointless and that we were better not expressing many of our views as we were just as likely to be wrong as right - the answer (if indeed there was one) would probably lie in the middle. It is a view which the farmer reached a long time ago. He is very comfortable in his own skin, totally satisfied with his lot and on the whole lets things go over his head unless he can do something about them.
Friends call here, splashing through the water as it poured after lunch. Tess and I got caught in the downpour and even she was glad to arrive home and scurried to get a place in front of the wood burner. I put on the coffee pot (I am going to exceed my one cup a day rule today), we glance briefly at the Christmas jig-saw we have on the go, decide we can't do any without a lot of looking and settle down to soak up the heat and chat.
I have a grand-daughter marrying in the Summer and I am to organise the cake, so we talk about that in particular and then weddings and wedding cakes in general; do we prefer ones heavy with traditional fruit, iced and decorated or would we go for a giant chocolate one three tiers deep? Luckily my grand-daughter is a traditionalist so already the cake is ordered and dealt with.
Our vet has given me a pocket diary with a matching pen. I put it in my handbag with a resolution to keep it up this year. When I meet with friends and an outing is discussed, they all get out their pocket diaries to see whether or not they are free. I write the date on the back of my cheque book, look at the calendar when I get home and let them know. Sheer laziness and inability to keep track of a diary on my part. This year will be different I vow as I neatly put in all the events so far. Next week our local amateur dramatic group are performing Robin Hood. That goes firmly into the diary. These groups have all but disappeared so they need our support.