Christmas is over for another year, and we can all calm down and gather our strength for New Year. Our guests are leaving today, jetting off to Zermatt for some skiing, so the house will soon be calm and quiet again and I'll have to get to grips with catching up on household tasks. One thing we won't have to do is go shopping. It seems we overshopped by a mile and seriously over estimated how much we would eat. OTOH, we have drunk all the alcoholic supplies - surprise, surprise!
Thanks to the good weather, which has been so mild that honeysuckle is budding and gorse is flowering in sheltered spots, we've indulged in some bracing walks - Stocksfield woods, Chopwell woods, the beach at Seaton Sluice, and our regular good old riverside walks. Our guests travelled as far afield as the creamery at Hawes in search of real Wensleydale cheese. Evidently they can't get it in Australia. Nor can they take any back as the regulations on food importation are very strict and quite rightly so. The UK has suffered from the import of so many species like the grey squirrel, mink and a particular kind of crayfish to name but three. Travellers brought back all sorts of things from abroad, and some were good like the glorious rhododendron but then we suffer with Himalayan Balsalm crowding our hedgerows and riverbanks.
Very little writing or critiquing was done by moi in the last week, so I'll have to get back into the grind again. Not that it is a grind, really. I wouldn't do it if it were something I hated. Sometimes getting the words down or deciding which way to go next in the story is difficult, but I let it simmer about on the back burner for a while and it usually becomes clear which way I want to go, and the words start to flow. I'm really behind with critiques for my writing colleagues, so perhaps that is what I shall start with this afternoon.
I haven't even seen Death comes to Pemberley yet!