Christmas Eve afternoon. The 'tikes' and their parents head off to the Pyrenees on a deeply discounted, spur of the moment, skiing holiday. '' I didn't know you skied " says 'The Font' to the mother. 'I don't but the hotels got a spa' and then, after the briefest of pauses while she looks at her little angels, she adds ' and a bar '.
This morning the village is quiet. The Old Farmer and the Belgian Lady are on the road. The matron of the old folks home is working as is the teacher at the school for 'difficult' children. The uncomplaining duty of those who carry responsibility. At the crossroads the curtains on the mayors house are tightly drawn. The mayors wife is recovering from her third hip operation. I have high regard for the mayors wife. She never complains, Never lets on that she's in constant pain. Never fails to turn up for a village event. Never fails to laugh and smile. One of life's stalwarts.
As Bob and Angus cross the village green on our pre-breakfast walk all is still and small and calm. That special silence that only comes once a year - Christmas quiet. No cars, no planes, no voices. After a year of noise there's something sacred about the silence. An unspoilt world.
Donkeys, deer, ducks, calves, quail, partridge, pheasants and owls all observed by Bob. A red squirrel pirouettes off a branch , lands at our feet, and scurries off into the undergrowth.The male PON, briefly, considers giving chase but thinks better of it. It's Christmas.
'The Font' applies Bobs eye drops. Was there really a hint of movement in the paralyzed right eye lid ? Perhaps the tiniest of Christmas miracles ? And why not have a little faith?
Sophie is on her feet and ready to party.
Later today there will be turkey and roast potatoes and brussel sprouts and gravy in the downstairs library. A room where Sophie can join us with no stairs to climb, or fall down. Such are the altered rhythms of a dog house on Christmas Day.
A very Happy Christmas from everyone at The Rickety Old Farmhouse.
And here's a piece of Bach to get Christmas started : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrTowDGKmlw