Thursday, 30 December 2004


We've survived. (Which is actually a ridiculous turn of phrase for me to be applying to a family christmas in light of events on the other side of the world. But I'll leave it in).

We had a good time ... Natalie was clearly making an effort, Ma was really happy that we were getting on and Dad was pleased to see us, although covering it up well with a deep layer of grumpyness.

The two new puppies helped:

Nutmeg and Moss

The first thing I had to do when we arrived was apologise to the man who had come to pick up some christmas flowers ... he was admiring the puppies and writing a cheque when one of them wee'd on his foot. Lovely.

Other events of note:

  1. We have come home with two jars of home-made marmalade, and a quarter each of a pig and a lamb to go in the freezer.
  2. I was attacked by Fabian the Salmon Faverolle cockerel. Bin Laden has apparently calmed down and Fabian has accordingly become more aggressive. I couldn't work out whether he thought I was trying to steal his hens or whether he wanted to add me to his harem. I had to hit him with the feed bucket to get him to let go of my arm ... and then he sneaked round behind me and pecked my arse. At that point I took the opportunity to practice my crowing, and he ran away.
  3. Aunt Edith arrived by bus the day after Boxing Day, thankfully sans dogs and entourage, but with a dilemma. Six weeks ago she adopted an eight year old bearded collie, which has stared displaying behavioural problems. It has clearly been badly treated and is very nervous. And it attacks people. And dogs. Randomly. The warden of Edith's sheltered accommodation has had to go in to hospital for stitches, it has gone for several other people on the complex and the residents committee has finally told her that she must get rid of it. She doesn't want to send it back to the kennels. She is talking about moving house, but realistically can't afford it. Aunt Flora rang Ma before Edith arrived to ask her if she could talk some sense in to E, as E has been crying solidly for a fortnight. The dog has to go ... E is eighty three and it is likely to pull her over, apart from anything else. And what if it attacks a child? So the options are rather limited ... find someone to take the dog on, with the understanding that, whatever the cause, it is vicious. Or have it destroyed ... which is possibly kinder than sending it back to the kennels to be passed from pillar to post until it DOES hurt someone badly. I spent the day before we came home looking for Bearded Collie Rescue contacts online and have compiled a list for Ma and E to phone. Haven't heard yet whether they had any success though.
So all in all, a jolly family christmas. We are already mulling over what we want to do next year so that we don't get backed in to a corner by other people's expectations.

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