How many sleeps?


The days have grown shorter and we’re about to turn the corner into lighter, brighter times.  In the meantime, we’ve spent our time out and about with Mary and in between ticking things off lists, have enjoyed a satisfying mix of planned spontaneity.




We met in London on Tuesday, sitting at a table of globetrotting friends in the crypt of St Martins in the Fields.  As I walked across Trafalgar Square, I was reminded of an early date with my Hero who suggested we meet by a lion without knowing of “my thing” about birds.  I held my breath as I went to meet him – any excitement and anticipation was way overshadowed by fear and trembling provoked by the pigeons!  ~Thankfully, there are fewer pigeons around these days and anyway, enough children were letting off steam in between gallery visits to scare off all but the bravest of birds.  I stopped by the Christmas tree as I walked, though, because one small group gathered by the tree with their teacher and were quietly singing “Silent Night”.  If anything is guaranteed to bring a lump to the throat at this time of year, it’s exactly that.  Christmas, eh?




A wee bit further, I stopped again to take a look at the flowers left in memory of Nelson Mandela.  It’s a funny thing we do, isn’t it?  Looking at some lavish – and surely very costly – bouquets of flowers there, I couldn’t help thinking that the money could have been put to better use in his memory.  But hey ho, each to their own.




Later in the day, feeling weary from walking here, there and everywhere, Mary and I were glad to sit and watch some familiar faces in Selfridges.  Giffords Circus were there, doing a short but very funny show.  It was two heavy pairs of feet which boarded the train home on Tuesday night, I can tell you!




After a busy day in the studio at home on Wednesday, (the results of which will be revealed in due course) we met friends for lunch at The Wild Rabbit on Thursday.  Well, we had to call in at Daylesford on the way and found ourselves in a kind of "pre-lunch meeting” because they’d had similar thoughts to us and were there too.  My venison with seasonally presented cranberries was delicious.




Everybody else was sharing pork loins, so they had to take my word for it.  The portions here are generous and the presentation delightful.  It’s fast becoming a favourite and perhaps it’s a good thing that it’s not any closer to us or we’d be here rather more often than is good for our waistlines.




After such a delicious lunch, the only problem was who would eat the last madeleine.




There was more food waiting for us at home, too, because our sweet Aussie mate John had sent us a hamper of yummy things to eat from Tasmania.  I couldn’t resist doing a bit of staging for the photograph though on reflection, those spiced cookies are a little dominant and could have been better placed!




With rain forecast yesterday, we decided to start in Tetbury, thinking that perhaps our friend Lynn might like to join us for coffee.  But she’d already been into town and was back at home.  Her offer to put the kettle on was too good to turn down and we spent a very jolly morning with Mr Moose looking on (don’t you love her sense of humour?!) 

With lunchtime fast approaching, we thought we’d try another place we’d heard good things about, so took Lynn away from her Friday morning cleaning and polishing and whisked her away into the pub.  Well, sometimes the best laid plans can be bettered, don’t you find?




We braved both Farmers Market and Waitrose early this morning but soon retreated home via a lovely new(ish) shop which goes by the name of Bobble.  With all gathered in as the wind begins to blow and the rain starts to fall, we are warm and busy in the studio this afternoon.

It’s the best way to spend a cool Yule, don’t you agree?

Christmas Eve

It’s all about the whiskers