Wednesday 25 April 2007

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve 2006

James couldn’t get to sleep last night. He was so excited that he felt sick and didn’t drop off until about 10.30pm. Still, there was a good by-product in that he slept in until 9am and, by some amazing fluke, the dogs didn’t bother us either, nor the grandmothers – so we all had an incredibly rare lie-in! I was treated to tea in bed and lay reading my book, listening to the house come to life, and watching the mist swirl outside.
We now have our annual dilemma of how to keep the house warm enough for my mother, without the rest of us dissolving into perspiring puddles. Mum likes the heat at tropical levels which is a slight problem as this old farmhouse is hardly draft-proof and, with the best will and the hugest fires, it never gets to greenhouse temperatures. Maybe we should have Christmas at the Eden Project! We parked her by the fire, laden with blankets but not sure we’ve quite got there yet.

The rest of us had a pre-lunchtime drink at the Exmoor Forest Hotel in Simonsbath (see earlier entries for full rave details). There was a lovely fire and it had been decorated beautifully with lots of subtle greenery and sparkles… And candles on the tables. Ours of course, chose to splutter and nearly catch fire to the tablecloth – typical. Two Bloody Marys later I was feeling full of Christmas cheer. Back for lunch and then we left the grans by the fire while Adrian cooked the hams (two different ones) and James and I saw to the mince pies.

Then James wrote out his letter to Santa. I can’t believe he’s eight and still believes in Santa – it’s absolutely gorgeous. His list wasn’t hugely long and I was heartily relieved to see that Santa will certainly be able to accommodate quite a few of his requests. Was slightly horrified to notice he’d put down ‘socks’ – yes, he does desperately need some but it’s a bit tragic for an eight-year old to be requesting socks on his Christmas list. Maybe he’s anticipating years of future Christmases!

Actually he got an early Christmas present yesterday – a pair of Exmoor socks with stags heads on them and a Jack Russell calendar – from our ex-neighbours who gave us ASBO Jack. There was a note saying that the dog on the cover is one of Jack’s relatives – Mrs P had sold him to the photographer! We were well impressed.

In a bit I’m going to take the laptop downstairs so we can start tracking Santa on-line. Don’t know if any of you have done this but it’s huge fun. NORAD, the US defense bods, do a website every year where you can follow Santa’s progress by ‘satellite’ round the world. The URL is – it’s a hoot. He’s just gone over the Himalayas by the look of it and is approaching the Taj Mahal.

Dusk is falling. A few bats have started to come out and whiz around (the tiny pipistrelles). A calm is falling on the valley. Some deer come down the hill…..
Christmas Eve on Exmoor…… Right, folks, I’m off to join the fun downstairs. I wish you all a good night (especially if you have small children!), goodwill, peace on earth and ding dong merrily to one and all. HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!!


@themill said...

Enjoying reading your blogs prior to joining you all in the old homestead. Are you a blogspot address or do you have your own domain as I was going to put a link from my place to yours?
Sorry about the Archers - I have a sort of love hate relationship with it, but the Farmer is definitely with you - especially when I tell him how the Archers are farming and say something like 'have you ever thought of trying that, darling?'

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

never saw your earlier stuff as didn't join until beginning of march. this is lovely. am i being stupid? would like to import all my old stuff (and think i am a bit computer literate, maybe not now) but can't seem to find any way other than cutting and pasting each blog individually. can't be right. hope you will blog new stuff as well.

lixtroll said...

Matron has just popped in to tell you not to worry, the chat room has gone down temporarily owing to an error on Google which is preventing us cleaning out the fosses to make room for new posts!

You can still blog away merrily here on your own page, and to leave comments on all the others.

Suffolkmum said...

Jane - if you happen to see this - the chatroom's down, but I've copied and pasted the link from the press article onto my post where I first mention blogging today (and where I mention COuntrymousie). It is there for you to read - but I couldn't put up a post to let you know!