Thursday, December 26, 2013

Post-Christmas Rural Entertainments

This is the medieval North Lopham church, seen from our window at the guesthouse. It is a pretty amazing view, made more interesting by the slightly off-kilter old windows in the house. (They've been double-glazed so they're actually amazingly well insulated.)

So, yeah, Christmas. Glad that's over. We had a crazy Christmas morning, with shrieking children and wrapping paper flying everywhere -- which I guess is how Christmas should be, if at all possible. Dave and I got some interesting foodie things like a jar of mango and tomato bruschetta and various jams and marmalades, as well as a nice glass window hanging and a Japanese teapot. And various Christmas ornaments to supplement our pathetic collection.

Then we went for a walk in a rural forest right next to a pig farm. I'm not sure Olga even saw the pigs -- there was a hedgerow in the way -- but she surely must have smelled them.

The weather cleared up yesterday (as if by Christmastime divine magic!) with a bright blue sky and sunshine. Unfortunately for photography, the sun is so low on the horizon that it basically shines right into my lens. I had a terrible time photographing the pig farm.

We also saw a free-range egg hatchery where thousands of chickens were wandering in (obviously fenced) open fields, and I must say they looked pretty happy. Dick and Georgia, our hosts, needed some eggs, so they stopped at an open cabinet by the roadside where flats of eggs were stored, and bought a flat, plunking their money into a lockbox inside the cabinet. It's all done by honor system.

I kept an eye out for local birds and did see some beautiful blue tits, but those little things flit around so fast that I just couldn't get a picture. The ones in London practically pose, accustomed to people as they are.

Olga and I went for a separate afternoon walk on a path near the guesthouse. I feel a little bad for her because she is frequently besieged by the children and she's not getting nearly as much sleep as she would at home. So I like to get her outside and off by herself if I can. Still, this particular walk was kind of a mistake -- mud-o-rama.

Christmas dinner went well! Dave made an amazing turkey and he and another guest collaborated on the stuffing, and I helped cut and saute veggies and got things cleaned up. Glad that's over, too.


  1. I wish you a safe and happy new year and hope you have a wonderful visit with family. Safe travels.

  2. I've caught up now with your posts. Your christmas holiday sounds wonderful but poor Olga, stuck on the train. Good dog indeed!

  3. We drove out into the country yesterday and saw a little pasture with a calf and chickens in it, happily co-existing. It was so sweet!
    All right. You have safe travels back to the states. I know that Dave and Olga are going to miss you.
    If you come anywhere near Lloyd, you better stop.
    I'll let you meet MY chickens.

  4. Olga looking magnificent as usual! Sounds like a really lovely vaca! I am glad also that christmas has come and gone, it was good but not great...Pup is very ill, not fun as you know. I must remember to not fall in love so hard...Happy travels and happy new year to all three of you!