We live in a village without a shop or proper post office but we do rejoice in the Greyhound Inn (whose carveries are famed well beyond the confines of the village) a mobile library, a mobile PO and a weekly bus into Dorchester. We also have something rather special for this side of the Channel – a village bakery.
And so it was that I could pick my way up the snowy lane on Saturday morning to buy a Blue Vinny loaf and place our Christmas order. The shop opens for 3 hours on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and for an extra hour on Saturday. There’s a small wooden ‘hutch’ outside, with an honesty box therein, from which you can buy the farm’s eggs, honey, chutneys. Not that there are many eggs to be had at this time of year.
Indoors preparations for Christmas are typically (for me) multi-stranded. I find it difficult to complete one job before I start another so it’s all a bit muddly. I think as far as dressing the monster tree is concerned I just have to hang a batch of decorations then move to something else for variety. Where Christmas trees are concerned, for Nick, size has always mattered! We went to a supplier at Toller Porcorum – what a name 🙂 – which Maddy and Andrew have used for many years. They are connoisseurs of the larger tree.
And I am still unpacking boxes of books and shelving in batches where I can but it is another task which needs tea breaks. I have rethought my strategy and will now get all the books out then start shuffling and regrouping. What I really would like is a library!
The snow continues to fall and sends we Brits into a spin. It is the severest winter since records began in 1910 I read somewhere. I don’t have to venture far afield fortunately, and more fortunately Nick is able to make the drive, overnight, to Caen to pick up the Ferry for Poole early on Sunday.
Whilst he was away I had to troubleshoot a major plumbing episode when one of the taps to the bath sprang a leak and I didn’t notice until a puddle welled in the carpet between the bedroom and bathroom, and water was running along under the bathroom floor to cause a large damp area on the plaster of the bedroom walls downstairs.
None of the plumbers I phoned answered, or if I got an answer they had no-one available until the next week! Thank goodness for practical, capable friends like Stuart who came over from Cerne with various wrenches and a smile. He fixes it. It then takes a good while and many kilowatt hours with the fan heater to dry the bedroom out ready for use over Christmas.
At Winterborne K we get our heaviest fall on Monday, when Claire and the children were due to come from Bournemouth to have lunch with us. She wisely decides to head back to Oxfordshire, but this is not without its challenges because driving conditions are still treacherous, we hear on Radio 4, and it is with great relief that we receive her text at the end of the afternoon to say that she and all her treasures are safely reinstalled at home.