Christmas Day is all about calculations - when to put the turkey in the oven, how long to cook the pudding for and how long does half a Brie cheese take to go through a Labrador - I guessed about 5 hours, which wasn’t far off.
It’s an odd relationship with the turkey - today I finally said goodbye. By the time you have bought it, stuffed, cooked, eaten and talked non-stop about it, it's rather a relief when you have eaten the final turkey fricasse and Christmas is finally wrapped up. However, I will miss the twinkly lights near my back door, which always come on as it gets dark.
I was allowed another indulgent trip to Geneva to catch up with my granddaughter, little Summer. She is certainly no passenger and seems to be taking everything in. She is now in slightly cooler surroundings in Yorkshire, and seems to be coping with different kit and voices.
Summer in Yorkshire
I did report back that our Christmas trees are very good value compared to Geneva trees!
Christmas trees at 100 francs
I was relieved to see not all the holly berries had been eaten on my return - I managed to forage enough to create a festive look, just in time for the village carol singing.
I enjoyed everyone else’s take on Christmas and recycling!
As I set up the Nativity figures with some hay, I felt having a new baby in the family was very like the Christmas story - someone exciting has been born and everyone wants to come and visit, embarrassingly most seem to bear gifts.
In between Granny visits and getting everything ready for Christmas, I had to squeeze in a speed awareness course. When the instructors arrived, I instantly recognised Steve and Joe from my last course; I then had to own up to having “previous” - I still didn’t know all the answers but it is such a useful course and the instructors were very good at keeping us all awake and interested.
I was horrified to receive this photo of my youngest who couldn’t make Christmas due to “training”, clearly no speed awareness here!
I am never going to whinge about the weather again - it is horrifying what people are having to cope with all over the world. Losing stock and homes to fires, floods and typhoons - it is impossible to understand what it must be like and how strong those survivors have to be. We are very lucky stuck here in the middle of a country where extremes are very unusual but when the weather does turn against you are fortunate with local help and support.
Our wonderful new bull, Lionking, arrived with a terrific fanfare but since then he hasn’t covered himself in glory on the fertility front. To help him, we put stickers on the cows who were not in calf - when the stickers go red, it means Lionking has eight hours to do something useful other than look gorgeous. Hopefully he isn’t colour blind.
It reminded me of one of the children explaining to me what a traffic light party was: if you were wearing green you were not in a serious relationship, if you were wearing red you were, and I imagine it was awkward if your partner turned up in orange! Thank goodness Lionking doesn’t have those complications to worry about.
Luckily, the pigs have no fertility issues. Sherlock, our amazing boar, has huge numbers in every litter, so much so we have every corner filled with pigs. But we still have time to fuss over Summer four-legs, she is so tame and it will be fun for Summer Bridget to grow up with her and celebrate their birthdays together.
I was lucky on Boxing Day to have some extra farmers to help me with feeding the Highland cows and pigs. It’s great to get the Highlands down from the hill and feed them again.
My husband has been complaining I never put any vitamin pills out for him, which is odd as I have run out of the cod liver oil, vitamin C and joint pills. But I think I know why my puppy has such a shiny coat and my husband has a cold!
Happy New Year,