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’t walking the dog because the plan was to take both dogs off in the car for a walk before we did our shopping. In the event the dogs and I were ready but Rachel slept in. However, we got on the road and drove first to Duns for Rachel to complete some medical and financial transactions and then we drove to Spittal where we walked the dogs on the beach. Today the beach was huge (because the tide was out); it was also very cold and with a driving wind and pouring rain (so we had the beach to ourselves). Mix was very glad to get back into the car.

We drove to Berwick to complete our Christmas shopping. Berwick was deserted so we had the pick of the shops. I spoke to several shopkeepers who felt that the weather had affected them badly. Last week it had rained and so people took to the internet to do their shopping; this week in the final run up to Christmas the rain had struck again and people were going to shopping malls or retail parks where they could shop without walking down the street and getting wet and where they could park right next to the shops. To be fair the council in Berwick had lifted all parking charges in an attempt to lure the shoppers, but it was largely in vain. One shopkeeper said to me – "I wouldn’t mind if it was because people had decided to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas but I suspect that it is just the weather". I’m sure that she was right.

We went to the Town House for brunch (remember I missed breakfast). Normally it is hard to get a table but there was plenty of room today. I enjoyed 'pigs in a blanket' and a glorious hot chocolate. Afterwards we continued with our shopping and then it was back to the car and a drive to the retail park because Rachel wanted to buy food at Marks and Spencer. Here, right enough, at the retail park the shop was crowded and we had to queue.

We drove home and Rachel set off at once to Duns to buy our ‘ordinary food’ while I talked to Mum, Olive and Digger. I discovered that my Godmother had sent me a present and, as I prepared to put it to one side to open on Christmas Day, I was told that it wasn’t a Christmas present but was a retirement gift. So I could open it! It was a Kindle – what a delightful present. I got it up and running and linked it to our broadband with the result that I can now read any book I want. Some I can buy from Amazon and with a single click they appear on the Kindle; others I can ‘borrow’ for nothing because I am a member of Amazon Prime. What a kind present and what a super present.

Rachel returned and I set off to buy some last minute things – we hadn’t gone together because someone had to look after the dogs. Again there was this Marie Celeste feeling – the Co-op was deserted, the town square was empty, it was really hard to believe that this was the day before Christmas Eve.



The farmhouse tree is up and has lights on it – the other decorations will follow tomorrow


Back home I sorted out my finances and reconciled all that I had spent and then we went across to the farmhouse for supper.

Afterwards, back in our lounge we watched an old Inspector Gently which neither of us had seen before. It was good. Then it was time to walk the dogs – the wind had blown up again and there was snow in the air. Part of our fence is down again – we’ll fix it tomorrow. It was good to get back inside. England appears to be suffering terribly from wind and storms with many trains cancelled and those that are running, are compelled to keep below fifty miles an hour. We are to share some of the bad weather tomorrow, if the forecasters are to be believed. I was glad to go to bed and read a chapter on my Kindle.

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