16th December 2011

For the past fifteen years, getting ready for Christmas has followed a time worn routine: the Christmas Shopping marathon, the decoration bonanza and the food foraging, round well-loved venues. This year I’ve enjoyed our pop-up shop, decoration workshops and finding local food outlets (like our Farmers’ Market and Macknades in Faversham), and although I’ve missed my customers and friends (one or two showed amazing fortitude and came here), I’m beginning to feel quite Christmassy – and I must admit – slightly more relaxed than usual.

This will be grandson Ludo’s first Christmas – he’ll love the tree and decorations – it’ll be a year or two before he really appreciates the presents, and we’re planning a big family celebration. We had a small naming ceremony for him in the garden recently, where we planted a tiny walnut seedling that made the journey from Troston in a pot of agapanthus, courtesy of a squirrel. There are lots of squirrels here, so the chances of Ludo ever seeing any nuts are remote.

The new hens are settling in well, though one has turned into a cockerel. The minute he found himself in sole charge, he started to develop cockerel tendencies, so sadly he will have to return home with his mum. I’ve become so enamoured with her that I’m hoping to find two more Brahmas once my girls have grown to full size.

Can I take this chance to wish you all a very happy Christmas and thank you for all your support during my first year here.  Please keep in touch. I enjoy your emails and cards very much.