Today I’m returning to Country Living HQ in London after a blissful couple of weeks at home. And I come bearing a dozen eggs! The slightly longer days and oddly milder weather seems to mean higher yields, plus we’re pretty confident we’ve cracked the rat!
James and I decided that simple pleasures, including spending plenty of time with the animals – our two chocolate Labradors Megan and Amy, German Shepherd Darcy, Beau the Bengal cat and, of course, Audrey and Mabel and the flock of hybrids, plus copious amounts of good food and drink were the priorities over the festive break. And there was no holding back. This included: dusting off the OS map and discovered some great long walks; brushing up on some dog training theory and practice (we’re currently big fans of Jan Fennell’s Amichien Bonding approach); sampling different bitters in around ten local pubs; numerous wintry picnics; birdwatching at our local reserve; lighting a log fire every day; trying some new recipes, including a scallop, chestnut and mushroom dish (yum); playing the highly addictive card game Racing Demons; and eating an alarming quantity of Christmas cake, mince pies and stollen. So, all in all, a pretty idle time.
Among the most enjoyable afternoons was when we let out our hybrids out of their run to roam around the garden. Generally, we don’t have enough time to spend watching them to make sure they’re safe. The Labs are 100 per cent trustworthy when it comes to chickens, but we’re not so sure about Darcy. There was so much time over the holidays that we could simply stand and stare.
They certainly enjoyed themselves and so did we. New Year’s Resolution #1: make more time for simple pleasures such as this.