Happy Christmas, everyone

We are having a splendidly quiet time here in the Deep North. It was a beautiful sunny day for a nice change - I took Miss Kit out last thing last night, and while it wasn’t actually raining, I found the ground had got so wet that it was like jelly. Miss Dog was walked in the forest, which is emerald green with moss and ferns, under a blue sky striped with yellow cloud, since when Les Wirlwinds Boys have, I think, wandered off for a zizz. The Professor is reading on the sofa. The only thing I can hear is the fire, which is crackling merrily, and shining on a string of little red lanterns which my mother has just added to our Christmas collection: these form a pleasant counterpoint to the string of small Norwegian flags swagged across the overmantel mirror. Miss Kit has been given a splendid round red felt sleeping pad by our friends in Tromso: with a typically feline view of innovation, no matter how positive, she promptly jumped off it again and went and sat on the Professor, but she will certainly come to appreciate its charm. She is, even for a cat, inclined to be conservative. There was a lime green toy mouse which I bought her when she first arrived seven years ago, which finally and terminally unravelled in the course of this autumn, but for all that time it has been her only special toy, sometimes played with, but more often simply embraced like a teddy bear. She has refused to accept any substitute. Later I will wander into the kitchen and cook. We have decided on a panettone bread and butter pudding, which will strike a Christmassy note due to the fruit and spice without being as heavy as the dreaded pud. There is fillet steak and asparagus and stuff, so dinner will be dead easy, but also very nice.

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