Sunday, 29 December 2013

Post-Christmas Catch-Up

We had a great Christmas. 

F and M played Christmas Morning Croquet in a hail storm...



There was a flood on the lane...


My brother in  law made some divine profiteroles for pudding...


And the puppies did the washing up.....


This was after playing non-stop for an hour and then falling asleep together in Dylan's basket....


We all moved next door to the real fire where Pops and Teddy crashed out again...


Leaving Dylan to sleep on his mat...


 Ted and Poppy's cousin from the other side of the family came to visit on Boxing Day. He is a Bouvier called Digby and as you can see by the photo, he is just a tiny bit bigger than Miss Pops. This didn't stop her growling and barking at him, or indeed chasing him up the garden. Sadly, I didn't get a photo of this because I was laughing too much to hold the camera steady. She really is fearless.....


We've been up to the Down (if that isn't a misnomer) to check the sheep. 19 were out in the open in one large flock and the other 8 (I couldn't find all 29) were (of course) right up on the steepest most-impossible-to-check-without-falling-on-your-bum slopes underneath the blackthorn. 



Betty came the length of the down but refused to come up the slope with me (sensible woman)...


The local riding school were out enjoying a sunlit hack....


Poppy enjoyed sheep rounding-up duty, and growled at the cows (who are about a million times her size) for good measure too....


The views were as breath-taking as ever in the sharp frosty air.....


I've been feeling energetic after all the food and wine consumption and have continued with my running (largely to justify the food and wine consumption) and have also been burning calories chopping kindling. It is very satisfying work and we now have enough kindling to last us a month....


I found an old wasp's nest by the wood pile and was impressed at the green and blue hues. Tanalised wood, apparently....



We've done a fair bit of walking between rain showers and blustery winds (lots of trees down), and this morning went out across the water meadows and along the river just outside Romsey. L was as over-joyed as he always is to be dragged out on one of these escapades and pleaded freezing feet about half way round as a reason to turn back. He did enjoy seeing how many of the ice sheets he could stand and bounce on without falling through, and was impressed at how many Poppy could scamper across without breaking the ice.

There is still a lot of water lying on the surface, and more rain is forecast tomorrow....


These gorgeous old cottages beside the river were flooded on Christmas Eve and had pumps going to extract the water....



 A nice view of the Abbey across the fields...


A skeletal Oak....

 
M gave me a tripod for Crimble and I've been trying it out on the birds in the garden. So here are a surfeit of birds for you to enjoy, all of whom visited the garden this morning.......












 
And finally, I'll leave you with what I think is probably my best picture of Poppy yet. She is hard to photograph well, being such a busy little person. She's also grown up a lot in the past week and now sits down when you talk to her and backs out of a room if you ask her too as well as waits on the other side of a door when told to. Small steps perhaps, but all important ones.

 
I hope this finds you all well.

We're off to a drinks party with friends down the lane now. Good job I gave my liver a watery detox before Christmas! Doubtless it will need one afterwards too, however, this won't be particularly aided by the number of bottles of rather lovely wine  (Sancerre, Pouilly Fuisse, Villa Maria and Chateauneuf-du-Pape) we've accumulated between us as presents..... Happy Days!

CT :-)

18 comments:

  1. Sounds jolly good all round. There were several blue tits in the park this morning and a robin, too. All very chirpy and busy!

    Have a lovely drinks party. Cheers!! And a very happy 2014!

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    1. Birds, or just people jogging with insufficient apparel? (we are just back from the drinks do with lots of lovely friends and to much alcohol- can you tell?) XX

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  2. I have just found your blog, via The Wold Ranger. You cannot be far away from me ( we are in the New Forest). We too have had a very wet week and I fear we might have another south westerly storm in the night.

    I did enjoy this post. Beautiful bird photos.

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    1. Hi! And welcome to C Tales. I know the Forest well having had my horses there until last year. It looks like you've had rain and wind damage similar to ours, and tomorrow is set to be dreadful too. Hope you will be OK :-)

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  3. That is an absolutely gorgeous photo of Poppy and the tripod is working well on the birds too. Glad you are having a good time. You put me to shame with your running, I am feeling very lazy this year.

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    1. Glad you like the Poppy pic Jess, I was rather pleased when I looked back at it. And I reckon you deserve a Christmas Break from exercise after all your steep-slope gardening this year!

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  4. That looks a very exciting first Christmas for Poppy! Digby looks massive compared with her!
    Sarah x

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    1. She had a ball Sarah- I think she is loving having everyone home to play with her. Digby is almost too big to be allowed, but such a sweet, gentle dog. Hope Daisy had a lovely Crimble too x

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  5. Hi CT. Thanks for sharing your Christmas time. With us. Bird shots look really great. may I wish you a very HAPPY NEW YEAR and a wonderful 2014 for new moths.

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    1. Thanks Margaret. Hope you've had a great time too- the new puppy looks so sweet. Happy 2014 to you too :-)

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  6. Nice to see your Christmas pictures and the dogs, who obviously enjoyed it all too. Great to see the pics of Romsey, half our relatives live there - well, I've cousins there and husb. has too. Wonder if there is any more news about Tescos building on Broadlands!

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    1. Argh, Tesco booooo :-(

      It's all gone suspiciously silent after they commissioned a report that found there would be no unreasonable build up of traffic along Alma Road at peak times with the store in place- to which all the locals roared with disbelieving laughter. It's the worst place for traffic hold ups in the entire town. I suspect they are re-grouping.....

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  7. Poppy looks so cute in that photo. Thanks for the walk about, it was lovely to see your neck of the woods and the sheep.
    Great to get a tripod-I have one but have not used it yet due to the lack of birds in the garden-maybe the seagulls or the wind-I'm not sure. The weather is terrible and I'm not sure there will be anything left standing in my garden for the birds to sit on by the end of this storm!

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    1. I love that pic of her. Yes, pretty windy here today too. I've just been in the kitchen and the birds are bravely clinging to the feeders. They do amaze me, such tough little creatures. Hope you are OK in the current bout of stormy weather.

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  8. It sounds as though you had a great Christmas and I adore the last photo of Poppy :) Great pictures too of your garden birds - I am very envious of your nuthatch :)

    Wishing you and your family a very Happy 2014 :)

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    1. We had a lovely day at ma's with everyone together. Hope yours was lovely too. Nuthatch pair are in the garden most days :-)

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  9. My goodness poppy is huge!!! Nearly as big as Ted!! Sorry I have been so absent from blog land - you know what it's like! It was kind of poppy to help with the dishes - Bracken often tries to help with put the washing in the machine but generally just runs off with socks and underwear - naughty dog!!

    I thought of you the weekend just gone - we were visiting our friends in Romsey! My mum's best friend and her children etc. We went for a walk that went through kimbridge and mottisfont and across the water meadows and stopped for a drink at the Mill Arms. The test way is beautiful! I have a few photos for my next post which I probably won't get around to writing for months!!

    Lovely bunch of piccies too - especially the nuthatch ones :)

    Anyway I'm glad you had a lovely Christmas and I really hope that 2014 is a wonderful year for you :) x

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    1. Hey Lou. I'm glad you dropped by- I was going to message you and see you were OK. That walk around Mottisfont is lovely and one we do quite often. Small world huh?

      Yes, Poppy is the same with socks as Bracken- they are her absolute favourite item of clothing. Although she has just discovered gloves, which are creeping up her list of 'best things to chew'.

      Glad all is well. CT :-)

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x