16th December

Pouring rain all night. The rain didn't keep me awake (actually I like the sound of rain) but the guttering is broken and so water just cascades down the wall - not down the drain pipe.
That is OK (well it isn't - one day the landlord might get it fixed) but I had tidied the garden up a bit yesterday. I put the empty flower pots in the corner where the gutter is broken - so the sound of the rain falling on an upturned plastic flower container was like listening to an untalented drummer in a not very good boy band.
In the end I got up, found an umbrella and went out and "sorted it"
Very grateful for a nice warm bed to scuttle back into!


15th, December

I know that I have been absent quite a bit as of late, but I have not been swallowed up by the ground or anything. *laughs* I've been working like a fiend to finish up all projects for  2011 in hopes of a small vacation at the end of this month. That vacation begins this Saturday if it kills me. *laughs* So weather wise....mildly cool, breezy and partly cloudy here in North Carolina today. [63F/17C] A bit unseasonably warm actually.

Here are a few photos:
The woods behind our house. Nothing but limbs and empty branches now.

My Christmas Cactus is blooming!

Another shot of the Cactus.
The wreath on our kitchen door.

My Pansies are doing well in their hanging baskets along the porch.


14th December

Bright but cold.
No sign of the predicted storm here yet - though the forecast this morning said it might miss the UK & go over France instead.
Don't let them say we Brits never give them anything.....

I ordered a copy of Deborah's book - it arrived yesterday - looks good!

Baking, Drying, Still

Standing in my kitchen rolling out my biscotti dough, looking out at the sheets flapping away like some angry birds, I am very pleased that I now have the curtain to prevent the whistling draught through my front door. The oven is warming the kitchen which means the fire does not need to be lit just yet. Yet, when I had gone into the village to collect the post (and surprise I am now in receipt of three Christmas cards!) there was not even the slightest breeze to disturb the leaves on the trees. I swear it was  a few degrees warmer as well.
The dogs are agitating to go for their walk but they will have to hold fire until the biscuits are done. We will definitely be venturing out, I need to collect some kindling and I espied some good size bits of tree that would burn nicely in the grate... I remind myself of the poor man collecting winter fuel.


13th December

Bit of a storm last night - great gusts of wind battering everything & lashings of rain - and according to the forecast there is an even bigger storm heralding in from the west due to hit around Thursday.
It's all very still out there at the moment though.

Few of my solar powered lights are working now, the sun is not high enough to charge them up.
It's almost 4 pm, dusk already.


The Sky's The Limit

After a chilly morning where the blood was heated by battling through the throngs in Velez-Malaga, a friend and I stopped for a little libation before heading up the mountain. From our seats in the now warming sun we were able to view the aerobatics performed above Trapiche airfield. It reminded me of summer days spent similarly sat outside White Waltham airfield (though the aerobatics there were of a higher quality) watching some of the best aerobatic pilots in the country. I was also young then!
Speaking of young, the Maidenhead Advertiser ran a little piece on my book, A Tale of Nine Cities, and they gave me an age of 31. How wonderful to lose ten years overnight; shame no-one told my body!
My body is encased in more than one layer now. Whilst we still have sun and blue skies, the clouds and wind are more frequent visitors. T-shirts require a cardigan or jumper over the top and bare legs are not recommended. I am grateful that I am not trussed up in hat, scarves, gloves, thermal underwear and any other necessary attire to combat the early and cold British winter.  To my friends across the globe suffering cold temperatures I raise a warming toast…