Snow, lots of snow…

(at 01:00)

The snow is still many inches thick in the garden in Northern Ireland.  It’s very pretty, but it’s well and truly screwing up everyone’s travel plans.  Someone who was supposed to leave on Friday, to join his wife on a Christmas holiday, is still waiting to get a flight out.  Someone who was coming here this afternoon – technically yesterday afternoon – has only just arrived, and that was after he got lost in the dark snowy roads after the cabbie said he couldn’t drive up the icy hill near the house.  It’s chaos.  Still, I suspect it will all be back to normal by Tuesday evening, which is when I fly out.

Today was lovely.  Last night saw the almost-finishing touches of the Christmas decoration of the living room, which has to be seen to be appreciated.  Huge, traditional christmas tree and lots of candles nestled in greenery and berries from the garden, which pale into insignificance when the fire is roaring.  So the lie-in was earned, though the the full Irish breakfast, cooked by someone else slowly on an aga (I never liked black pudding until I had it here) probably wasn’t.  A brief foray into garden for more clutches of cherry red berries to brighten up the last of the greenery was followed by the making of homemade sausage rolls (not by me, I just watched the gloriously helpful cheating with ready-made puff pastry, and offered myself up for quality control duties).  Then came the afternoon soiree, that included all the kids finding the chocolate coins liberally and deliberately scattered around the Christmas tree and the decorations and the bowls of nuts and dishes of fruit.

We were finishing the evening by watching Atonement on the television, but the aforementioned late arriving guest was turning up, in the end, about 20 minutes from the end.  This was perfect as I could finally explain the ending which irritated me so much that I find the whole film – beautiful and gorgeous as it truly is – to be a total waste of time.  I was glad to be able to short-circuit having to watch it, and was thrilled when my host declared that he was thoroughly disappointed with such a conclusion and was most glad he hadn’t sat through it.  Have you seen it?  Do feel free to disagree…  Anyway, I’ve left the host and his guest to say hello in the traditional way. I suspect I should probably leave paracetomol out somewhere prominent too, but hey, I bet I’ll get another lie-in because no one else will be up at all.

I shall be annoyed if the flights are screwed up on Tuesday, but I shall also be sorry to leave.



  1. Jen says:

    Hi Charley – ahhh, a snowy Christmas. I so miss it.
    Yes, agree about Atonement – total waste of time. Couldn’t stand it.

  2. Neal says:


    Loved the idyllic description of pre-christams acitivites. Hoping the journey back is not too stressful.
    Re Atonement – Totally agreed, lovely film, maddeningly annoying ending!

  3. CN says:

    Neal, i need to send you a copy of the course picture. We were presented with them in a weird little gathering thing. The funny thing is that even the people who were with us then (Nigel, Stephen, etc.) aren’t in it, yet still we are so many less than when it was taken. Anyway, I will scan it in when I get home and email you a copy.

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