Monday, 2 December 2013
Advent Diary, day 1 - ... All The Lonely People
The first Sunday in Advent today and I received my first enquiry regarding our plans for Christmas.
“What are you doing for Christmas”, is the standard phrase used by everybody. “Have you got family coming?"
Millie and I were out for our usual afternoon walk around the castle. It’s close to the house and she can roam and explore to her heart’s content without having to be on a lead at any time. Mostly, I lose sight of her; at any rate, she knows her way home and I am free to wander and let my thoughts take me where they will.
As I was climbing the bank, Piper, a huge and unruly Gordon setter came bounding up to me, which meant Helen couldn’t be far away. I could hear her shouting: “Gently, Piper, gently.” Piper is friendly but there’s nothing gentle about him. Since he once thumped my knees so hard that he had me reeling, I am careful of him. Millie saw him from afar and came galloping to the rescue, imperilling my foothold even more. Helen soon reached us and grabbed hold of Piper’s collar.
“No family? Aw,” she said and pulled a face, implying that she was sad for me. “What about you, are you having a family Christmas?” I asked in return. Several members of Helen’s family live in Valley’s End. Helen looked away for a moment, then said, that no, she was going to have a quiet Christmas on her own and for once wouldn’t have to cook a turkey. “For the first time in 30 years”, she added. “We will have a family meal a few days before Christmas though.” Helen was bright and cheerful about it. “I am going to eat cold things from the fridge and sit all day by the fire, doing nothing.” It was my turn to pull a ‘sorry for you” face. “No, no, she said, it’ll be lovely, I don’t often do nothing. It’ll be really good."