Nice Things that have happened in the last few days.

1. Towards the end of our New Year’s Eve “safari supper”, the six of us were joined by J the church warden (who had missed his flight to Pisa due to the massive security queues at Gatwick airport., but I’m not here to talk about that; “return to work” day is grim enough as it is, so let’s focus on the Nice Things). At five minutes to midnight, glasses in hand, we traipsed out of OldEngland and NewEngland’s cottage, through the church yard next door, and into the village church itself – where J unlocked the door, climbed the stairs to the carillon, bonged the bells for midnight, and knocked out a quick impromptu rendition of Auld Lang Syne into the bargain, as the rest of us chinked and hugged below. Best NYE midnight moment ever!

2. “Dressage Diva” A and I have settled on three pieces of music for her forthcoming competition, subject to final approval from the horse. Professional confidentiality forbids me from disclosing our choices – but I can reveal that we have chosen a jazzy, swingy, Blue Note-y direction, with all electronics and drum machines firmly ruled out, as metronome-strict rhythms don’t suit this particular horse’s swishy, sassy gait. The next step is to re-edit the music to match the floor plan, and to sequence it into a seamless five-minute suite, with as little abruptness as possible between the tempo changes.

3. Out in the PDMG, a local woodpecker has started nibbling our nuts on a regular basis (we hang them from the malus tree which faces the kitchen window). Never having seen a real life woodpecker before, I have been getting VERY EXCITED about this. Wide-eyed child of nature, me.

4. Congratulations to my darling sister, whose Suzi Quatro impersonation won her the New Year’s Eve “Stars in Their Eyes” competition in her local pub. Apparently, there is a video clip. No, you can’t.

5. All those long, lazy lie-ins. Cups of tea going cold beside the bed, as we read, or doze, or surf, occasionally making well-intentioned but half-hearted muttering noises about Getting On With The Day. Given half the chance, I reckon we could cheerfully live like that indefinitely. Sigh. January the second’s a right bugger, intit?

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