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Happy New Year!

Our blog and our Facebook Page activity has been strangely static recently, which I really regret. It is nothing personal, nothing other than other excitements and responsibilities that can happen over Christmas with a happy houseful. We have never been less than seven and and recently nine in the house which means with the barns as well, a fair amount of washing and baking, not to mention opening of presents, prolonged meals and silly card games after supper – and even the odd walk in the rain! And talking of washing, we have all noticed our clothes are tending to shrink – it must be because we are having to use the dryer rather than hang them outside?

Our Australian contingent is over, to our joy: Sara, Derek and young Tom who is now 8. Last time they were here we had prolonged snow over their entire stay; this time it has never stopped raining. Let’s hope their next visit we have prolonged unnaturally fine weather!

We have had a lovely, family time. However, we thought at first that we might have a cat crisis/tragedy on our hands as Boots our much loved Orchard Farm puss seemed to be rapidly going downhill, a diagnosis the first visit to the vet confirmed, with thinly veiled warnings that the final sleep might be hanging over her. However, four trips to the vets later, antibiotics and various injections, tempting morsels of turkey and ham (will she ever go back to those pouches of nameless cat food?) and she is making terrific progress but she is very old and we accept that we can’t expect her to go on for ever but meanwhile she is enjoying her recovery, as are we.

Soon other realities will kick in – marmalade making and tax returns and the annual Quality in Tourism inspection, which has tightened up its standards we are told. Meanwhile, with new Year looming the strange Christmas- New Year ‘no man’s land’ continues…

Happy New Year to one and all.

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