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China Girl blog 9th December 2016

How easily the year slips away, the past is a pattern of timeless moments. In days gone by, this time of year was marked by the beginning of Advent. As the year rolls to a close we find that autumn, which began on Lammus Day and traditionally ended on All Hallows’,  finishes when winter sets in.

Last week the coldest day in decades has been replaced by the warmest days in early December. The mice scuttle between the old floors like migrating ghosts, sounding as if they have hob-nailed boots on their feet. They rattle around all winter; Moses, Mother’s lazy cat makes no effort to catch them, but sits by the Aga awaiting his next meal. 

Our annual Christmas Fair heralded the last of our yearly events.  We had forty stands, all selling enticing Christmas presents.  Mother as usual said she wasn’t going to buy any more gifts but was beguiled, as she never can resist Mary Davis’s amazing hand-knitted wool cardigans. I scuttled about wishing everyone a Merry Christmas – what an exhausting day!

 Dearest, assisted by two helpers, has nearly finished painting the kitchen; a much-needed make-over, since it was last done twenty years ago.

Rose made an amazing Christmas garland to go around the entrance arch; it took all day – no wonder, as it is about 20 feet long!

 This winter we are doing special manor house tours, with delicious cream teas afterwards in the Great Hall, which will be held on the second Sunday of each month. I will do my very best to be available to meet and greet!

 We all hope that the winter will bring cheer. However, I tell my Dearest Mother we all know that life lies within nature’s capricious hands.