Hi everyone, and Happy Christmas from myself, Eileen and all at River cottage.
We are all set for a festive feast and a white Christmas. Everything is winding down. The countryside is hushed, the birds quiet. The river is a murmur.
The tops of the hills and mountains in our view are covered in snow with more expected.
We have been busy decorating the tree, and bringing in holly and ivy from our garden and the surrounding hedgerows, to hang indoors.
Our shopping is done, the huge fresh ham and fresh free-range turkey sourced and bought locally.
The cranberry sauce and Christmas pudding, mince pies and Christmas cake are made. Today was the shortest day, the Winter Solstice. We have sent our cards to friends and family, bought in extra rations for our animals/pets - the cats, (wild rescue cats we adopted) Tom, Tammy and Mummy; our ducks, Donald Duck and Daisy Duck; our two hens, Marie and Henny; and our two patio pond goldfish - Whitey and Goldie.
We have plenty of carrots left to pull, some giant parsnips for roasting; beetroot, onions and shallots we saved; broad beans we froze. The vegetable garden is close to being rested in preparation for the new season, beginning with sowing early potatoes and onions in March around St. Patrick's day.
We shall be partaking in plenty of mulled wine and mince pies on Christmas Eve with a few friends, and we have plans for a a few dinner parties.
At some point in the lead up to New Year we shall be holding a Special Open Mike and getting together with our new neighbours to make our 'toasts', give thanks for life and all its blessings, and to reminisce about the past year.
We hope you have enjoyed following our blog during 2009 and stay with us during 2010.
Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year,
Mark and Eileen :)