A Belated Happy New Year

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Well another year gone and the prospect of a very busy 2010. We’ve had people staying with us since Christmas Eve and today Sunday will be the first day on our own since then. I love having people here and our thermal cooker always plays a major role at meal times. From the filling for a venison pie to a delicious bean and Greek lamb sausage casserole it has meant over this very busy period that meals can be prepared any time from lunchtime and will be ready when we decide we want to eat.

The weather in UK has been quite cold over the Christmas period with lovely frosty mornings. On the back of our house we have a conservatory which we use as a dining room. From it the view down our garden covered with a blanket of frost is the perfect backdrop for breakfast. We have a few bird nesting boxes on the trellis over which our four grape vines grow. One of these boxes has been in use now for a few weeks by blue tits. We watch them coming and going as we eat our breakfast of toast and lovely cheeses many of which are only availble around Christmas. I assume that the blue tits are not looking after their young just using it as a place to keep warm from the cold nights.

Unfortunately the heron is a regular visitor at this time of the year looking for a breakfast of goldfish. We have an electric fence around the water that surrounds our Thai style gazebo but this has not put him off. I suppose I can’t really blame him as food must be hard to find on a cold morning and to see a pond of plump goldfish must be too much to resist.
Further down our garden the foxes play and taunt Merlin our cocker spaniel. He tries to scare them off by barking at them but they just stare at him from behind the fence knowing full well they are safe.

Today Sunday I have to spend at my desk finishing off my accounts as they need to be at the accountants next week. As usual I have left them to the last minute. It would be so much less work if I could only train myself to keep them up to date as I go. I say this to myself every year but never do so I will have to sit here in my warm office with Merlin at my feet filling in spreadsheets. Life could be could be worse I suppose although I would rather be in the kitchen trying out some of the new recipes I have collected together for my new cookbook.

Happy New Year
Mr D