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"Winter’s come…"

January
 2018

I have made a discovery. Possibly it is not up there with the major discoveries by Einstein, Marie Curie or what’s-his-name who ‘found’ the World Wide Web… but I think it is somewhat poignant. I have discovered that Christmas is not very Christmassy when it pours with rain all day and everywhere and everything is covered not in sparkly frost but in thick, wet, oozy mud.

Mincepies? No, mudpies.

Bedecked? No, bedraggled.

Add to this, I have an observation. Why on earth doesn’t a flooring company invent floor tiles that have pre-printed dog’s paw prints on them, then we wouldn’t notice the new mud-coloured ones. And as for the pet cat… bad enough our Mab catching mice, bringing them into the bedroom and sitting there (at 3 a.m) crunching every little bit from head to tail, but jumping on the bed (also at 3 a.m) absolutely dripping wet? Oh p..l..eese!

At least our donkey, known as Wonky Donk, is happy. We moved him into a different stall, built into one half of the dairy, where he is very comfortable and highly delighted that the window and door are now at donkey height; he can stand in the warm and dry and peer at what’s going on outside – and bray at it.

I have a few plans for 2018. I must get on with writing the sixth Sea Witch Voyage, Gallows Wake and I want to write my Madoc the Horseman idea as well. Plus, have you noticed that this website has changed slightly? Check out the graphics on the Home Page. I also want to produce more ‘items of interest’ for my main blog: Let Us Talk of Many Things. My only problem, I have to think of a few things to ‘Talk’ about. Any ideas? Suggestions? If you do have any thoughts you can reach me via ‘Contact’ on the menu bar above.

Also, I’d love suggestions and ideas for how I can make my sort-of-regular newsletter more interesting. I do not really want just a ‘this is my latest book’ advert page, but what would you, my readers and followers like to receive?

We also had a loss and a gain just before Christmas. The loss was our lovely ‘Up-the-Hill’ neighbours moving away to Salisbury – much missed as they made us so welcome when we first moved in – and friends ever since. But they were replaced by equally as nice new neighbours. I just hope the sound of Wonky Donk braying, the geese honking, the hens clucking, the ducks quacking and Eddie the dog howling at high-pitched noises doesn’t put them off too much!

Incidentally, Eddie has been in my bad books. (He was threatened with Santa not bringing him any presents). Although in truth it was not, accurately-speaking, my bad ‘books’ that he was in.

Eddie, three-parts collie breeding, gets obsessed with things. Be it rounding up hens, ducks, tennis balls, scurrying wind-whipped leaves or running water. He recently discovered the fountain in our brick-built raised fish pond. And the fish.

All well and good him standing at the edge staring at the fountain and/or the Koi carp… We warned him to "get down". We told him to "get down". We yelled at him to "get down". He did get down, but unintentionally. He fell in. Result: One very cold and very soggy doggy.

Did it cure him? Did it heck.

I’ve had several people contact me to ascertain if we are alright here in Devon, whether we are snowed in. See the first paragraph above for a somewhat grumpy response. Nope, no snow here. Not even a snow-flake flutter. There is snow up on Exmoor, but aside from a few morning frosts and a bitter wind, no snow.

So this month's featured graphic is a little misleading, I’m afraid. Winter has indeed come. But not to Devon.

You can still buy a book or two though… preferably one of mine.

Happy New Year to you all!

Lege feliciter (read happily).

helensig