One of six 'prawns in choux pastry' mysteriously disappears from a plate on the coffee table. There is circumstantial evidence that points to Sophie's guilt .
The electronic system that controls the church bells has had some sort of festive meltdown. The bells have taken to chiming nine times, then four, then seven times in quick succession. They do this on the hour every hour.
Late on Christmas Eve a motor home arrives and parks outside the church. It has '16' registration plates. On our morning walk we meet a lady in an orange dressing gown and pink pom-pom slippers heading over to the wash room in the village hall. Despite her state of dress the woman is extremely talkative .She and her husband have driven from Angouleme. Their family are all self isolating so they decided to get in their camper wagon and head south. They ended up here. At lunchtime I find them at the village hall picnic table enjoying their Christmas Capon as if this was the most natural thing in the world to do.
Late afternoon . The Old Farmer shows up at the gate. I ask him if everything's ok. 'No !' comes the reply. He had set off at ten in the morning to spend Christmas with his lady friend. When he got there the house was quiet and the curtains closed. He let himself in and found her in bed. She'd had a massive coronary during the night. He has spent Christmas day at the hospital and then at the mortuary. He buries his head in my shoulder . We stand like this in the middle of the lane and he weeps . This morning , when he surfaces, I shall find out what needs to be done regarding the funeral and all those other 'arrangements' that become doubly complicated during a pandemic. This has been a big shock for him.
This morning Sophie and her companion have a long clear the mind walk across country.
Then it's down to the bakers for some breakfast croissants. From the Buche de Noel in the display cabinet I'm guessing the baker prepared for a last minute rush which didn't happen.
Low key. Piano and voice and saxophone :https://youtu.be/iM_Y_chz1pI?list=PL1nLVw6M_fPhmepFiAk9ULTPuHkwHJreN&t=4317