Today it was still icy but there was sunshine so I decided we would all benefit from a walk to Marston Montgomery and a drink at the pub. En route we saw the farmer taking feed to his sheep (although as he was opening the gate I laughed because it looks as though the dog is the one driving). Coming back a huge number of starlings were gathering in the field. They used to roost in a big oak tree but that fell down and now they seem to be using electricity wires and bushes not really adequate for the purpose.
Christmas lunch was a family affair with just the four of us. This year we broke with tradition and actually ate our Christmas Pudding on Christmas rather than Boxing day. Afterwards we had fun playing a game that Tom had given us. It's quite mild (typical after all the snow!)
I love turkey and was delighted to see that mine was suitably labelled!! Dave signed me up for the loyalty card and made it match my barely used cheque book. This one was delicious and just the right weight to go in the oven before we walked down the lane to church.
I was so excited to see that the field opposite is full of sheep again! I rushed outside to say hello, this way I have the best of both worlds, the fun of seeing the sheep but none of the worry of owning them (yes everyone here thinks I'm mad!)
We are having a party for all our friends and neighbours and so the house is decorated inside and out (we hope to light the bonfire and toast marshmallows and crumpets). Suddenly Christmas is almost here!
Looking outside to see if it was snowing I was surprised to see this fox by the gate. He was digging in the snow and pouncing just like puss does. We see foxes rarely although I know they are around. He was oblivious of me behind the window.
Glorious sunrises are matched by equally pretty sunsets as the sky flushes pink and orange. After a cold start the snow has cleared apart from along the edges under the hedge. The roads are very muddy everywhere.
This morning we had a cold, below freezing start and saw little in the way of traffic on the lane. I was glad Joe had the day off and didn't return from London until midday when it was a little safer. We were lucky not to have to drive anywhere and instead I went out walking with the camera.
Walking up the lane to take more snow photos I look up and see that puss is watching me from high up on piles of hay in the big barn. She hardly visits us for food now but I always love to see her about the farm (although we've long given up any ideas that she could be considered a pet).
Today so much snow fell that our carol service was cancelled. It snowed all day, fine particles that took a while to build up and coming from a leaden sky. Joe was down in London and even there he saw a few flakes.
This is the first year that there has actually been snow on the ground as we went to choose our Christmas tree from Needwood Farm. We always buy it from the same place and we got the perfect one (I took a tape measure to check it will fit when it comes indoor, but for now it will stay under cover outside in the barn).
Our embroidery guild: Gathering Threads decided that instead of buying Secret Santa presents everyone should bring and swap a home made card (no pressure there then!) I used scraps of fabric with real history (from a jacket I made for my Imperial College interview, rompers for Tom as a baby etc) and put them together using skills learned over this year. It was fun to make it.
Tonight we had a 'supermoon', but although bright, I wouldn't have known it appeared '7% bigger than normal' unless I'd seen it on the news! However in the early hours of the morning I could see the garden and field in its light which is always a magical thing.
We had a joint service in church today for all the 7 parishes in our benefice. We'd made wooden stars to give out and I also took star shaped biscuits as an edible celebration of advent. It was a lovely service and for once our church was packed.
Today I took a wheelbarrow of holly (which I'd hidden away from the field-fares and red wings) down to church so we could do our advent decorating. Many hands made light work and we soon had every surface festooned with greenery.
To mark the start of December we put up our outside lights around the dairy building. We were disappointed to find that last years hadn't survived and so we purchased a new longer set (far too many in Dave's opinion) but I laughed when they fitted around the building absolutely perfectly and look so pretty.