After Winterval comes a mixed bag interval whilst we count down to our trip to Maurice’s Island.  The following week saw me witness young Ted, crowned and cloaked as he carried out his kingly duties in the school nativity play.  I met Vikky for lunch whilst in Surrey and busied myself at the old homestead, a helpful Granny.

Returning to WK I spent the following day at my screen, honing a Powerpoint presentation for the Conch. Soc. at the Natural History Museum. I have already spent many hours at the screen retrieving suitable photos from numerous folders to compile a talk about my shore activities along the Normandy coast.  The amount of preparation time has been utterly disproportionate to the 45 minutes the talk will take.

Saturday arrives, I give my talk and the relief is immense.  Shortly after the meeting we meet Dan outside the Museum and take delivery of Lola and Ruby who will spend Sunday with us whilst their parents party.   We drive back to Dorset and pop the children into their beds.  On Sunday I bring out all the pens, pencils, paper and show them the magic delights of carbon paper.  After lunch we go to the time capsule cinema in Dorchester to see Arthur Christmas.  Before bed we have tales of Mog, Little Rabbit Lost and Angelina on the wobbly bed.

On the 13th Nick and I take a birthday walk, a very blustery one, and in the evening we join Maddy and Andrew for a curry at the excellent Rajpoot in Dorchester.  On Thursday we drive to Surrey so I can join my Book Groupies to discuss Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending and A D Miller’s Snowdrops.  Meanwhile, whilst Charles and I discuss the merits of the books we have read with the others, Nick takes Susie to dinner at The Withies.  This restaurant has expanded around the core dining area, which has remained pretty much unchanged since we first moved to Godalming nearly 40 years ago.

The clock is now ticking.  We join Rollo and her family for a festive Sunday lunch party in East Chaldon.  Monday dawns, we are on the threshold of a flight from rain into sunshine.  Claire and JACS arrive for some Dorset days.  Hugs all round and the stage is set…


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