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    • December
      • Monday 30th. December, 2013 – The Fifth Day of Christmas

        A picture of our family

        This picture was taken just over a year ago at the wedding of Nick (my nephew) and Amy. But I only saw the picture for the first time when we all got together for Christmas on the 27th. of December. I thought it would be good to put it up here because i

      • Sunday 29th. December, 2013 – The Fourth Day of Christmas, the First Sunday of Christmas and our Forty-fourth Wedding Anniversary

        Dorothy, Tom and Mum outside Abbey St. Bathan’s Church

        Today was another great day – but it didn’t turn out exactly as planned. I got up and walked the dog. After all of the winds and bad weather it was as if spring was just around the corner, not at all cold, no wind an

      • Saturday 28th. December, 2013 – The Third Day of Christmas: we go to the Pantomime

        Enjoying a pre-panto drink in the theatre bar

        Up and breakfasted in the farmhouse before walking Mix on largely deserted roads – the local area is clearly still on holiday. Back home I started to learn how to play my ukulele. Tom arrived and I switched role to that of appren

      • Friday 27th. December, 2013 -- Christmas just goes on and on

        Exchanging presents in the farmhouse

        What winds we had overnight! I awoke to discover that one of our fences had been blown totally over and another had a section missing from it. The wind was so strong that there was nothing we could do about it – so there was no garden for

      • Thursday 26th. December, 2013 – Boxing Day and a wonderful one at that!

        Christmas sunrise – taken yesterday but I forgot to put it up

        This morning I slept in. Rachel got up a little after eight and even invited Mix to go out to the garden with Rowan but Mix is his master’s dog and preferred to sleep on at the foot of the bed until about ten. B

      • Wednesday 25th. December, 2013 – A Happy Christmas Day

        Guess what I got for Christmas

        Woke and it was still very windy – we had been promised that the wind would drop overnight but here it was still exceedingly blowy and I was relieved that we still had all of our slates, the boat was still covered by its tarpaulin, the roof was

      • Tuesday 24th. December, 2013 – Christmas Eve

        Now the Christmas Tree in the farmhouse has baubles as well as lights

        It is Christmas Eve and, for the first time since I retired, I feel a little strange, a little bit like a spare part. Last year I was up early with shopping to do and then so many services to get just right.

      • Monday 23rd. December, 2013 – A Wet and Windy Day

        It is mid-day on the day before Christmas Eve and Berwick in the rain is almost deserted

        Got up and pushed the dogs into the garden. I wasn’t going to the farmhouse for breakfast this morning because Olive and Digger were setting off early to do their shopping. And I wasn’

      • Sunday 22nd. December, 2013 – The Fourth Sunday of Advent

        During the service this morning the fourth candle of Advent was lit

        It was really cold when I got up this morning and, walking the dog, I saw lots of snow by the roadside and flooding in the fields. After breakfast, Rachel, Mum and I set off for Gavinton Church – there was m

      • Saturday 21st. December, 2013 – Christmas Shopping

        Rachel and Rowan on St. Cuthbert’s Way at Newtown St. Boswell’s

        Woke this morning and felt sorry for all shopkeepers. The wind had dropped but it was raining hard and it was a thoroughly nasty day on this one of the most important shopping days for those with shops on the

      • Friday 20th. December, 2013 -- Off to Edinburgh

        There was a warm glow from the summer house as we walked the dogs last thing at night

        Coincidences. I tend not to believe in them as they effect daily life, affirming the belief of the late George MacLeod that if you believe in coincidence you will have a very boring life. But

      • Thursday 19th. December, 2013 – It is bright, cold and calm

        Carol singing at Longformacus – lousy photo of a grand occasion

        I think it was in ‘As Time Goes By’ that we were for ever being given the weather forecast (or rather the shipping forecast) in the English Chanel by Geoffrey Palmer’s housekeeper. I seem to have become he

      • Wednesday 18th. December, 2013 It was meant to be horrendous

        And now the door is hung: Digger and Tom at work

        Awoke and thought how good the weather looked – the forecaster last night had said that it was all downhill for the rest of the week, with today as the worst of all. Well, it was really rather pleasant (a little bit cold, perh

      • Tuesday 17th. December, 2013 – Things never go quite to plan

        Men at work on the Summerhouse roof

        Woke early because I had to get Rachel off to the doctor (although the new pills she got last night mean that she is in good spirits this morning). I walked both dogs and breakfasted in the farmhouse and was ready for Tom when he arrived abo

      • Monday 16th. December, 2013 – We start thinking about Christmas Gifts

        Berwick High Street: not as busy as I expected in the run up to Christmas

        Got up and walked both dogs as Rachel is not feeling very well. Enjoyed a hearty breakfast and then spent some time in the Granary expecting a phone call which never came (when one is retired that really

      • Sunday 15th. December, 2013 – The Third Sunday in Advent

        The Christmas Tree looks good in Gavinton Church

        Got up as soon as the alarm went off. I had two dogs to walk as Rachel wasn’t feeling well and had wisely decided to spend the morning in bed. Back from the dog walking I showered, breakfasted and went off to church at Gavinto

      • Saturday 14th. December, 2013 – Progress before the storm

        It’s only 9 a.m. but fear of the weather to come has got us started

        Woke early and for the first time found the overnight cricket score heartening rather than disappointing, just one wicket down with 85 runs on the board. Walked Mix and got ready for a nine o’clock start o

      • Friday 13th. December, 2013 – After a slow start ....

        The lorry carrying our summer house

        Arose early to walk Mix and to be ready for the delivery of our summer house. Went across for breakfast and enjoyed a hearty one with an ear cocked for a phone call to say that the summer house was approaching Duns. In fact Tom had phoned to

      • Thursday 12th. December, 2013 – Not quite as planned and a little disappointing

        My team (Tom and Neil) are hard at work installing services for the summer house

        Today did not work out as planned. Not in any way at all! I had expected to be in Sweden taking part in a Green Pilgrimage Planning meeting – and the added joy of being in Sweden today was that

      • Wednesday 11th. December, 2013 – Christmas is getting closer

        There were crowds of people at the farm sale I attended today

        Got up and walked Mix and then came back to the Granary for a shower to ensure that I was read for Tom when he called to collect me at 9.45 a.m. In the event he arrived with Dorothy and a couple of friends from York

      • Tuesday 10th. December, 2013 -- A Good News Day

        Our old family favourite Christmas decorations are starting to reappear

        Got up and walked Mix before breakfast and then came across to the Granary intending to finish my book (which I did this afternoon). However, on checking my emails I found the request for music for the se

      • Monday 9th. December, 2013 – A Long Sleep-In

        Duns looks splendid with its new Christmas Lights

        Digger was taking Olive off to the station at Berwick later than usual this morning – and afterwards was continuing on to the Duns medical practice for a consultation – so Rachel and I decided last night that we wouldn’t

      • Sunday 8th. December, 2013 – The Second Sunday of Advent

        It may be damp but Rowan and Rachel are having fun as the Duns Christmas lights are turned on

        Arose, walked the dog and breakfasted before travelling with Rachel and Mum to Gavinton Church for the service for the Second Sunday of Advent. Met Tom and Dorothy on the way and walk

      • Saturday 7th. December, 2013 -- Make and Mend

        An awful photo (I must learn to use flash and to aim properly) of Digger (almost), Tom, Bill, Mum, Olive and Morag

        I am going to start presenting some pictures of the different parts of Mount Pleasant. The farmhouse kitchen is undoubtedly the heart of the complex. When we came

      • Friday 6th. December, 2013 – We have a very good day

        Dr. Dorothy provides reassurance to Digger and his hens

        I was up early to walk Mix and when I returned Dorothy and Tom were here at the chicken run with Digger. Dorothy is something of an expert in hens and she was giving Digger’s hens a once over because he was concerned th

      • Thursday 5th. December, 2013 – A Mighty Storm and some Sad News

        There was a fence here yesterday

        I slept fitfully – not least because there was a huge storm raging around the farm steading; but also because our alarm clock has a storm warning on it and this seemed to bleep every few minutes during the night. I got up and was taken aback

      • Wednesday 4th. December, 2013 – Special Visitors and a lovely meal

        Digger has been making progress with his small holding

        Woke, walked Mix and breakfasted in the farmhouse. Then while Rachel drove Mum to her reading group and walked Rowan, I loaded a whole lot of boxes back into the barns – these were boxes which have been unpacked to disco

      • Tuesday 3rd. December, 2013 -- An Expedition (without going very far)

        Having climbed over many boxes, Dorothy and Rachel have found the table

        Woke, walked Mix and went for breakfast – I was locked out of the farmhouse. Went back to the Granary assuming everyone had slept in. Had a banana and got ready for the day’s work: finding the dining r

      • Monday 2nd. December, 2013 – Technology

        The main lawn at Mount Pleasant -- Digger has cut it and today has collected all the leaves

        Arose and walked Mix before breakfast and then spent this morning in a conference Skype Call with Martin and Alison from the Alliance of Religions and Conservation and Chris, a notable

      • Sunday 1st. December, 2013 – The First Sunday in Advent

        Gavinton Church in the winter sunshine where we celebrated the start of a new church year today

        Rose, walked the dog – it had been raining but it was beautiful now – and I didn’t see a single car on the roads the whole duration of my walk. Came back and showered before b

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