I'm sitting, alone in the house for the first time since early December. It's a strange feeling. My Hero left early this morning with Edward and Amy and a car full of their things - no room for me! (Or their Christmas present from us, a new TV)
It's been a magical time but like all good things, it was time to get back to normal, to stop sitting around eating and drinking and to see if the washing machine still works (thankfully, it does).
We've enjoyed days with Mary, exploring some new places and savouring old favourites too.
A couple of hours at Daylesford never disappoints and at this time of the year, it's particularly lovely. We pottered about admiring so many beautiful things which remain firmly beyond our budget, but thankfully ideas and inspiration are priceless! A visit was top of Amy's list too, so we took a second bite of the cherry last week too.
If we are in that part of the country, then it's a good reason to have lunch at the Kingham Plough , especially if a couple of friends are able to join us. No surprise that we'd already bumped into them at Daylesford an hour earlier and that their carrier bag of shopping was bigger than ours!
Though we cherish our friends throughout the year, receiving their cards filled with good wishes is always a pleasure and brings back fond memories of other places and fun times. One of my jobs later today (or tomorrow!) will be to take down the cards one by one and reread the news inside, update the contact details and to save a few treasures.
Mincemeat isn't easily available in California, so there was a little baking to be done whilst Mary was here too - our favourite mincemeat slice never lasts long in this house, though!
Speaking of California, a corner of our kitchen table was blessed with sunshine thanks to a delivery from sweet friends - it may be winter outside but it was cosy in here.
Cold weather is an essential part of life here, though, isn't it? We were in two minds about the snow last week - glad to see it whilst we didn't have to go/do anything much, but pleased that it's gone and we can get on with things without worrying about slippery roads and fallen trees.
So this morning, I'm feeling blessed. I have a house which is an utter shambles for all the right reasons. I've had a phone call to say the youngsters are safely back in London and my Hero is on his way home again. I have a fridge full of food and could probably last a week without cooking, though right now, the thought of eating nothing is quite appealing!
Christmas 2017 has been lovely. It's time to put it all away though.