Hunting Foxes

On Boxing Day the hunt started in the unspoiled village of Thorverton where we stayed for Christmas.

Horses, hounds, pink coats and lots of green Barbour jackets captured the moment as the riders drank a stirrup cup and everyone else looked on with envy.

It was a taste of English tradition as the commoners were all on foot and the landed gentry, portly and red of face were mounted on horseback. Two legs good, four legs bad perhaps?

There were a few protesters who insisted on shouting during the tally ho and while I have no wish to appear unsympathetic towards Reynard, there are over 300,000 urban foxes in London (most of whom seem to live in our gardens) so I think we can afford to lose a couple.

Regardless of the class system, we enjoyed it immensely and having rescued Agnes from the interest of an enormous hound, it was very exciting watching the hunt leave the village.

Our next stop was a castle on Dartmoor!

The Missing Weeks

The week between Christmas and New Year is a surreal time where days meld into each other and every day feels like a bit of a shit Sunday without a nice lunch because everyone ate too much on Christmas Day.

After two months of build up, Christmas is over in the blink of an eye and suddenly it’s all about detox diets, gym memberships and summer holidays.

Discarded Christmas trees start appearing by bins stripped of their festive finery looking as depressed as everyone seems to feel.

The UK is a country with strict routines and protocol. In December it’s pure carnage as the entire country is pissed for a month and it’s sheer debauchery on the streets. In January it’s time to book the August holiday for two weeks, become a vegan and give up alcohol. And that’s literally as the clock strikes twelve!

Having said that, we had a fun Christmas as we escaped the dust and DIY for five days in Devon where we breathed fresh air, ate delicious local produce and walked up a few gentle hills.

It was a well deserved and much appreciated break which made it all the harder to walk back in to our unfinished flat and face cleaning, sanding, painting and reality.

As we now approach the inevitable return to work and we’re having to replaster the hall (more about that fun to come) we’ll be remembering the Christmas break and looking forward to our next escape!

Delays and cancellations

Faster than you can say déja vu, Big T’s flight back from France was cancelled last night after a five hour delay. He spent the night in an airport hotel in Nice with an €80 bottle of wine he was bringing home. I feel slightly robbed.

Quick as a flash, I booked him on to a British Airways flight for Saturday evening. We’ll see if BA come through as they also cancelled their first flight of the day this morning. It doesn’t bode well.

Plan C is another EasyJet flight on Sunday.

Last year it was drone strikes over Gatwick which resulted in a three day delay and then he ended up in South End. I’m suggesting he rethinks the annual Christmas deadline…

On another note, the south western trains in the UK are affected by strikes and flooding so even if he makes it back tonight, there’s another challenge ahead as we’re off to Devon on Monday… hopefully!

Love travelling at Christmas!

The end is nigh

I made it to the last day of work for the year, hurrah!

With a team lunch, a farewell to a colleague going on maternity leave and a jaunty wave goodbye, I left the building. I had survived 2019 and it did feel like an endurance test at times.

I will remember 2019 as the year of hard graft. There have been many other years of graft but this one has surpassed all others for certain reasons.

Seven months of living under a box, twelve months without a kitchen, three months without a bathroom and so on. Top that off with a hard year at work, a restructure and a merger and then add the icing on the cake, an election and an inevitable Brexit, and it’s certainly a year to remember.

It’s ending well though as things have settled down at work, building works have progressed to a point where we feel like humans, we now have lights in the kitchen and plaster in the hall and while the builders will be back in the new year, the end is in sight.

All that’s left to do is hope Big T makes it back from France and we’re able to make it to Devon despite the rail strikes!

And so I’m ready to pop the bubbly and celebrate the end of 2019 eleven days early!

Party, party, party

Last week we had the Consumer Products Christmas party in the shape of a bingo night in Camden. I didn’t win but it was good fun.

The next night I went to a non-corporate Christmas dinner with twelve women, some of whom I didn’t know but we talked about lots of things including Welsh Terriers. It was good fun.

Yesterday we celebrated two birthdays and three baby showers followed by drinks in the Consumer Products kitchen and then the big corporate annual Christmas bash.

It was fun but after an hour at the big party I left. I came home relieved that corporate Christmas was over for this year.

I sat down and watched the election coverage. It wasn’t fun.

I feel like I’ve done Christmas and there are still twelve days to go!

All I can say is No more Prosecco!

GBD

My three least favourite words in the last twenty four hours are “Get Brexit Done” closely followed by “oven ready.”

With a buffoon who can’t utter a coherent sentence now officially elected by the people of this country (and I’m entitled to my opinion) Brexit or as I think I’ll call it, Brexmess is inevitable.

For people who have French property and travel almost weekly to Europe, this is a disaster.

Let’s hope we don’t need a visa. As for Agnes, she may be summering in Maida Vale next year.

Let’s see what happens next…