Alas; time for Mum & Dad to leave, after a lovely visit.
As Christmas Day proved a little hollow this year after Tony’s lovely laughter was left echoing across the Ffarm following his departure to Aleppo, we hadn’t really found sufficient enthusiasm to open the few remaining presents, until now. And so, we finally got around to this pleasurable diversion – & I was delighted to receive Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s new fish book; which (as mentioned yesterday), like his book on meat is exceptionally informative on all things to do with said subject matter (bar caviar – oddly there doesn’t seem to be anything on it; unless so far I just haven’t looked hard enough). Mum & Dad too, exchanged gifts; with Dad especially delighted with his new SatNav, something I thought he’d never need nor even want as it seems he has a truly encyclopaedic knowledge of every road in the UK! But, it’s a techno-gift….& I still firmly believe men are invariably, magically seduced by the magpie-like pleasure of shiny things that go ‘beep!’.
Silli meanwhile had cheekily raided a jar of caviar I’d been using, first thing this morning; & promptly managed to spectacularly throw it back up all over the ivory dining room carpet – typical; & just the tonic I really didn’t need, to start the day.
After Dad & I had done the chores I cooked my wonderful parents a farewell, traditional full English breakfast with sausages, bacon, & eggs from our Ffarm; then after the meal it was, sadly, time to say goodbye. Poor Mum hates living so far away from us; but when we moved here of course we had no idea of the tragedies which would beset us all. There is an answer – we’d love for them to move in with us; but of course Dad still has his business to run; & I appreciate that they want to be on hand to tend my beloved & much-missed sister Melissa’s grave. However, as Tony oft observes, she did so love her Celtic roots; & as local mythology relates that the Gateway to the Celtic Otherworld is located somewhere in the wood below us, perhaps if they moved here they wouldn’t be as far away from her, as they might at first think! We firmly believe she’s only a stone’s throw away, such is the tranquil atmosphere here whether during the bustle of the working day or the stillness of each peaceful night.
After I’d waved goodbye until even the sound of their Jaguar’s throaty roar had long since faded, I returned to the house to have a morale-boosting chat with Tony, as our home now seemed so very empty now I was alone, again. We earnestly discussed the business plan with which Tony has been keeping himself occupied over the emptiness of a lonely Christmas; after which I took an enthusiastic & unfailingly cheerful Nanuk for a nice long walk to blow away a few cobwebs before exhaustedly nodding off on the sofa. To my horror, I awoke in a befuddled haze to discover that dusk was falling; so I had to hurry round the farm to finish the evening chores before any hungry foxes pipped me to the poultry post.
Unfortunately Myrddin, our new cockerel, had not yet worked out the routine of faithfully following his new harem up the henhouse ramp to bed; instead stubbornly insisting on roosting grumpily atop our broody ark in the lambing shed, until I gently picked him up & deposited him firmly through the nestbox pophole back into the main henhouse. I bid him an exasperated but fond goodnight, hopeful that tomorrow he will have finally learned where the bedroom is!
Mum & Dad proved not to be the only farewell to which our world would bid, today: as Benazir Bhutto has been tragically assassinated in Pakistan only days before the country’s general election. Al Quaeda extremists have been blamed with shooting & a suicide bomb; although the ‘official’ reason for her death apparently is attributed to hitting her head on the handle of her car’s sunroof. Hmm, a likely expanation, methinks not. Regardless, this tragedy will doubtless throw the region into turmoil – turmoil that the fight against terrorism simply cannot afford. So what hope for our world in 2008, hereafter…?
Meanwhile my pathetically more mundane daily life (as for most of us I suspect) led me to catch up some of the mammoth pile of washing up; then after a simple snack of (alas, not Stichelton but a more run-of-the-mill, Stilton) cheese & biscuits – & after unfortunately smashing one of my most useful roasting dishes, darn it – I shuffled up the wooden hill to my big, lonely bed; with a big, lonely goodnight to you all…..