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 go across to the farmhouse this morning but would instead sleep in. In the event Rachel did that better than I did. I awoke at about half past nine, got up and walked both dogs – they walk really well together now -- and when I came back Rachel was still sound asleep. She eventually woke up around half-past ten.

At the weekend Rachel had identified her large sideboard and our task for today was to liberate it from the barn, bring it into the Granary and then take the other sideboard (which we have been using) back to the barn in its place. With help from Digger we successfully achieved all of this and Rachel spent quite a bit of time transferring all of the kitchen ware from one sideboard to the other. I brought in the box containing all of our cutlery and (to get ahead of myself) spent the evening sorting it out while watching University Challenge and Panorama. The News and Newsnight were also on but honesty prevents me for saying that I saw them – the warmth of the lounge is very conducive to a little nap.

In the afternoon Rachel went to Berwick. I walked Mix here because I had to be in to receive a package from Amazon – the delivery firm here is terrific. I put in my order yesterday, I got a text yesterday to say it would be delivered today and I got another text this morning saying that it would be delivered by ‘John’ between 1.50 and 2 .50 this afternoon. It was delivered at 1.55 p.m.

The article in question was a dog cage to put in the back of my car. We have experimented with dog guards but Mix always manages to break through them and so, as a result, I have been tending not to take Mix with me when I go out in the car. He is perfectly happy getting into the cage (which is the same size as the boot in any event). In fact I had ordered a cage a little bigger than the one Rowan has but it wouldn’t fit into the car – so Rowan’s cage is now in the car and she has the new even larger one as her sleeping accommodation in the house.

I used to believe that these cages were not very kind but Rowan loves hers. It provided security for her when she was a very young puppy and now she wants to go into it at night. The rest of the day the door is left wide open and she often goes and sits in it – especially if we go out. But then she has so much freedom that I don’t suppose she bothers. Different for Mix, I don’t think that he will ever sleep anywhere other than at my feet. The dogs are getting on so well now. When Rachel is out it is quite common for both of them to crush in under my desk and roll up together – those who have known Mix over the last year will know what a change that is. He really does now treat her as his little sister (she is now quite a bit larger than him as well).

Paid for the road tax on Rachel’s Bongo today and also booked tickets for us all for the Christmas Pantomime in Berwick. Just ordering the tickets made me realise how near Christmas is – and how different it is this year with me being able to plan to go to the theatre! Rachel sent me one of these Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendars on my computer and every day I open the next page and enjoy the scene and the music and the little message which comes from the book you can find and read in the library of the Stately Home (Downton?) in which the advent scene is set.

When we walked the dogs tonight it was extremely dark and then, after we had been out for about five minutes, the moon reappeared from behind a cloud and the whole of the night sky lit up. I don’t suppose we have a street light for several miles around us and so we are more conscious of the sky than ever before. Somehow it is all very friendly.

(Should have recorded that I sat up last night and watched the end of the cricket match against Australia. England got well and truly trounced but it was good to see Matt Prior finding some form with the bat. Ever an optimist, I will be hoping for better things when the third test starts on Friday.)


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