We have decorated one of our fine bay-trees with glass icicles and the brilliantly coloured chenille silk birds which have been cherished from a good few Christmases past, and are themselves, mostly forty years old or more. We bought a very fine late-Baroque cut-out paper Christmas crib when we were in Innsbruck (and toted it, at some considerable inconvenience, around our subsequent adventures in Italy). This has now been added to our Christmas celebration. The Professor and Dr Biswell have solemnly done Good Cutting Out, stiffening of potentially bendy figures, and all that fun stuff. There has been mighty work with a hacksaw and the remains of a failed plate-rack (square-section chunks of deal, which made very useful supports). The scene includes a variety of touching and picturesque figures, but also, a number of extremely Baroque sheep for decorating the outer edges of the presepe, like cotton wool balls on legs. One appears to be gnawing at another in a desperate manner, but I am assured by the nearest available Art Historian that it is meant to be laying its head across the other sheep’s back in a soulful sort of way. I am pleased to report that, after an initial and all but disastrous burst of helpfulness, Miss Kit remembered that she was, being Abyssinian, probably a Copt, and went off about her own affairs.