That Time Of Year

Christmas Decorations
Christmas Decorations

We’ve been away. I’ve been off to a local rest and recuperation centre. He has been down south visiting relatives. We synchronised our existence again today – and went off for our walk, just as if nothing had happened. I think it’s pretty safe to say, nothing had happened.

I left a few posts in strategic places as we went on our rounds but, from the fragrance of the moment, life seems to have been wandering on, in pretty much the aimless manner it did when I was here to oversee things. I suppose that in winter (or are we still in autumn?) you can’t really expect dramatic developments on a daily basis. The cows have all moved on to greener pastures – or at least a comfortable cowshed with all mod cons to see them through the cold and wet months. The cow I spoke to about this was very emphatic this was an important part of their work ethic, to say nothing of their hooves rotting away in the mud.

The sheep don’t seem to be quite as picky about a little cold and damp. They are out there in their dozens, filling up the fields so recently vacated by their, more delicate, bovine relations. I don’t mind sheep – but I do wish they wouldn’t stand at the gates of the fields and stare at you.

Oh, yes. And did you notice? They’ve put the Christmas decorations up.


Frosty Morning
Frosty Morning

We’ve had our usual fair share of dull gloomy days this week but as is only fair we have had some nice sunny days too. The problem with nice sunny days is they tend to be, shall we say, bracing? Our good fresh country air has a tendency to become even fresher.

The sun is not particularly enthusiastic at the moment, I think he is preoccupied with his duties down in the southern hemisphere, even on the lovely clear mornings, he really only manages to raise himself up on one elbow for a few hours. This means that the hedges and bushes throw long shadows and there are plenty of places that don’t have any direct sunlight. There isn’t much warmth, even when he’s at his brightest, but the parts that do have its benefit, warm up and so loose their frilly frosty Christmas tinsel by the afternoon.

These nice bright days have added extra dimensions to our daily ramblings. The leaves that have piled in corners and against hedges, make excellent places for snuffling around and when the grass verges are covered in a good hard frost there is a very satisfying crunch when you walk around in them.

You know, on some days, things are getting quite Christmasy


Train Wheels
Train Wheels

The funny thing about tradition is – it must have been invented somewhere. Someone must have done it first, then the rest of us followed like sheep (we’ve plenty of those around here, so we know all about that). It must have been likeable, or enjoyable, perhaps even useful enough, to keep people doing it until no one could remember why they did it any more – then they kept on doing it anyway. Did you know that the tradition of wearing a white wedding dress only started when Queen Victoria wore one – when she married Prince Albert? In fact a great many other traditions we assume go back thousands of years, started life in the Victorian era.Christmas cards, Christmas trees and Christmas crackers spring to mind.

Saturn was a Roman continuation of a Greek god – the Romans did this often. If they found a god or a goddess that filled a hole in their own religious calendar they would adopt him or her. An upgrade followed the adoption, adding additional responsibilities where necessary, then a general Romanising and modernising makeover, before being given a temple and a festival. Saturn was the god of good times – he had run an idyllic rural place of plenty in the ‘olden days’. When Christianity turned up with it’s Utopian heaven and Garden of Eden, the Romans were happy to reuse a good party for the latest and greatest.

Then there’s the tradition we have here, of showing you a picture of a train now and then – for no specific reason. Here’s a dog’s eye view, I can’t imagine what he sees in trains.