Well that time of the year is here again when the dark nights get darker earlier and in the mornings you feel like you have been up for ages. It’s only 8.45 at the moment and I have done the morning routine already but it seems much later it also felt like it took me ages but Clearly it didn’t. I quite like the darker evenings because it means I can do other things instead of being outside, catch up on some reading and tracing ancestry etc, cosy nights in the warm with a hot chocolate, mmm make the most of it I say.

We have all been a bit poorly this week and so have been on light duties only, the only extra jobs we have done is put the lazy Sheila back up in the kitchen over the Rayburn. We took it down last year when we rearranged the kitchen and never got round to putting it back up but with the Rayburn permanently lit it makes sense to utilise the heat coming from it to dry the washing. We also replaced some of the bulbs in the outside lights that had blown, we need all the help we can get in the dark at this time of year.

The paddock tractor sold on eBay and I am just waiting for them to pick it up and then we can think about buying that compact tractor. The local farmer that I buy grain from came to unload this week bringing his enormous machine with him, the driveway was turned into a quagmire by the time he had finished, the tyres were higher than me, I am glad we don’t need one of them. We bought a ton of wheat and the price has gone up from £120 a ton last year to £190 this year, that will give you some idea of how much your weekly shopping bill will increase because of the weather this year. Sadly it won’t end there because at the moment the farmers can’t get on the land to seed ready for next years crop because the ground is too wet. They have until the 1st December but my farmer says if they can’t get on they will leave the land fallow meaning there will be even less wheat around next year, you have been warned 🙂

We have managed to sort out the Christmas tree situation and will be taking delivery of 80 Nordman Fir, 6ft trees on the 30th November. They will be £36 each and we will deliver to surrounding areas for £40, I have started a list of names of definite orders so if you want to go on the list let me know. As this is the first year of selling them we were unsure of what kind of numbers to order in, we may find we could have sold twice as many on the other hand we may struggle to sell all 80 it’s an unknown quantity this year but it will be exciting to be part of people’s Christmas preparations.

I do love Christmas, my whole family does, that stems from my Mum’s determination to keep the spirit of Christmas alive after all if you cant be charitable to people at that time of year there is no hope! I remember when we were children we had an ‘adopted Granny’ come for the day, I have no idea where she came from but she would have spent Christmas Day by herself otherwise, she bought an enormous box of chocolates with her, probably why I remember her so vividly! For us it is not about the religious or commercial side of the holiday, it’s about getting as many people round the feast table as possible, people of all ages and backgrounds enjoying each others company. Obviously we cant all get in the same house anymore, this year there are 36 of us and the family is growing year on year, but we do all go to a local pub for a Christmas get together and carvery during December we can pratically fill the place by ourselves! Personally for me, Christmas Eve is my favourite day of the year, people dropping in throughout the day munching on freshly cooked mince pies and the excitement and anticipation of the old and young for the following morning after Santa has been. Yep we love the magic of Christmas in this house we are all big kids at heart, so selling the trees will be an added bonus, although ask me if I feel the same after being out in the cold for a couple of hours at a time!

Today is a lot milder than it has been over the past week and that coupled with the fact I have not done much due to illness means that it will be a busy few days catching up, the chickens all need cleaning out there is still plenty of tidying up to do in the garden. I am still waiting for the delivery of the fruit trees and they will need planting as soon as they arrive providing the ground is not frozen. The house needs a good clean as the dust created by the Rayburn is constant, and my eldest daughter has moved out and in with her boyfriend so her room needs a bit of a makeover. Mind you half of her stuff is still in it, either she has too much or she is hedging her bets, I think it is the former! For the time being all my fledglings have flown the nest until the wandering youngest finally returns, do I have empty nest syndrome, not a chance, when I clean, it stays clean and tidy, its a marvellous thing. The wash basket is no longer overflowing like some clothes munching monster and my cooking duties are much simpler and condensed into a shorter time zone rather than spread over a couple of hours to fit in with work ending times. I don’t really have an empty nest of course because I filled it with animals instead, pretty much the same except their mess is all outside!

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