Advent Eve

Today was a total whirlwind, in all senses of the word.
It was the day of our local town's Christmas Light Switch On. We are happy because what has for a few years been the 'Winter Festival' has been reclaimed and is now the 'Christmas Festival' - complete with camels and donkeys and nativity and carols. I don't expect anyone of any other faith or none feels any the less welcome. But it's our own heritage at play, and it all looks lovely.
Or as lovely as you can look in a gale force wind with horizontal rain.
Our church had two main events - I was involved in the second and less glamourous, whereby a  lot of people sang carols and my friend Jo and I organised the giving out of an awful lot of hot chocolate and cake to passers by.
We did this last year and are now getting it down to a fine art. We gave out nearly 100 cups of hot choc (Lidl's instant hot choc and an awful lot of compliments we got for it too) with marshmallow - and handed out gazillions of small, delicious squares of cake - mars bar cake, malteser cake, Emma's legendary brownies, jam tarts, coconut cake ... if there's one thing our lot do really well, it's make cake.)

Earlier in the day though, the church was transformed as the little people of the town were invited to come and have their picture taken with a princess or a super hero!  In they all came, free to take as many pictures as they liked - and although one daughter was working so unable to attend, I do have a 'Tangled' Rapunzel in there!

These guys did the most amazing job. They bought their costumes, decorated (and cleared up) the hall, looked absolutely amazing, (I do think Rachel actually *is* Snow White) and made the day of dozens and dozens of little ones.

They are just the best.

Cinderella, Wolverine, Snow White, Hulk, Elsa,Thor, Anna, Batman, Rapunzel, Captain America and lovely Belle.

Now Storms Have Names - Meet Barney

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Well, Barney has been and gone (I think) but it's been a heck of a day.

I decided to spend the day house cleaning, not before time, due to the horrendous weather conditions, and got the kitchen, the sitting room (including a bit of a move round to get us all closer to the fire for winter!) the hall and stairs done.

I also managed to spend some time picking over my plans with my trusty sidekick and have almost decided to make some major changes.

Evening rounds was the big thing though as by then Barney was on his way in. I went and picked up H from the decorating job she was on, and we started with the goats, but by the time we were done it was nearly dark. We arrived at the field with chickens, turkeys, and sheep to see to only to find the turkeys had sabotaged the electric fence and the sheep were out.

It's kind of important they stay in, since Owen (named for Owen Farrell!) the Oxford ram is in with the Oxford girls, and I'm not sure my older Jacob ewes could cope with Oxford lambs, never mind the ewe lambs!

We got them back in and hassled the turkeys into their house, and then it was on to the ponies, who are currently at livery down the lane, because We Are Mud.

Unfortunately, so is the land down the lane, and the woman who runs the yard is taking the wotsit out of  H, who is working for her to pay for livery, which is a bum deal. It will not carry on as I cannot stand by and watch the sheer incompetence. 

Anyone who knew me more than 20 years ago is hiding behind the sofa when I tell you the yard looks like a rubble heap, the  mud is hock deep (and hock pulling)  and the flipping woman is all about alternative this that and the other and effectively doing anything not to ride, not to keep horses sound and basically lives in la la land.

Yesterday I swept the bally yard myself, because if someone didn't, I was going to need medication.

Let no one tell you country living is simple!

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