It seems so fitting to be sitting here writing this post in the first days of January after our first countryside Christmas, dear Reader. 2013 was such an eventful year: swapping kaftans for tweed and heels for wellies, leaving behind the Big Smoke for rural Hampshire, getting a gundog pup, Primrose learning to live with mud, Poppy learning not to eat it, Jerry living out his dream of driving his own Lanny, CHICKENS……I could go on. Not to mention the beginnings of Margot Tries the Good Life world domination in written form. So one couldn’t blame me dear Reader, for half expecting Christmas to be a bit of let down after all that! Amazingly, it wasn’t. However, most of December was rather bumpy with Poppy succumbing to a hideous bout of the hand, foot and mouth virus and the four of us having to live in quarantine with the sign of the plague daubed on the door. After two weeks of illness, followed by Poppy turning 2 and then the mad dash to prepare for Christmas, we were all looking forward to a bit of festive peace and quiet.
Luckily for us, the week of Christmas proved less fraught. Never have we felt more at home than here in our little old country cottage. Rather spectacularly, the village seems to have well and truly embraced us and the whole of the festive period felt as if it had been stolen from The Archers’ airwaves. My contribution to the church flowers was infinitely better than my first attempt at Harvest time, Poppy and Primrose dressed as angels to form part of a tableau around the crib with some dear little village shepherds and everyone roared with laughter when a grumpy Poppy yelled (rather loudly I might add) in the middle of the prayers “I don’t love you Mummy” when I ran out of sweeties to bribe her silence. I turned my hand to Christmas wreaths and even managed a bit of countryside recycling when my dear Pa turned up with this……
and I fashioned it into one of these!
Jerry’s family – I do promise (truly) that I did not feed you what was left of the pheasant when you came to lunch….thought I had better declare that……just in case, anyone was worried….!
Moving on… We enjoyed the hospitality of several villagers and settled in to the swing of all things Christmas. I was accosted to form an impromptu choir for the service – only to find that there were quite a number of villagers who have been hiding their musical lights under a bushel. One even turned out to be a recorded artist and entered the choir practice in full voice, trilling vocal warm ups. Amazing, the things one doesn’t know about one’s neighbours. Christmas Eve proved to be a wonderful evening with Ma and Pa in tow, children snug in their beds, stockings hung by the fire and a magical walk along the starlit lanes to Midnight Mass. A goose from our local farm shop went without hitch and I even managed to churn out a cake with the girls.
Say nothing about Robin Pinkbreast, dear Reader – Primrose was utterly delighted and I spent the whole time telling Christmas guests that it was all the children’s work…
With 2014 ushered through the cottage door, I have had time to think on resolutions and wishes for the new year. More tweed is certainly on the agenda, learning to shoot a gamebird is well and truly up there and tackling the awful jungle of a garden has to be priority number one. Meeting one of the organisers of the New Forest Show over lunch, I was almost persuaded to enter and ‘show’ my chickens. Oh and the vicar already tried to twist my arm to join the Parish Council to represent the young people. Not quite sure that I am ready for the challenges of either of those yet!! Apparently, Jerry says we have to start sorting out the cottage and redecorating too. Perhaps now would be a good time to lock myself away in the study and pretend to pen a little chapter of a book or two? Sounds like 2014 is going to be just as hectic as 2013…. Dear Reader, I do wish you and yours a very happy and prosperous 2014. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading, supporting and telling others about my little blog. Without you, 2013 really wouldn’t have been half as brilliant!
Happy new year to you too Margot. I’m so glad I stumbled across your blog. It really has been a pleasure to meet you and read about your adventures x
Oh J – you are so sweet! I’m glad I found yours. Kindred countryside spirits! Happy 2014 to you x
Another delightful post – so pleased to hear how much you are enjoying your new life
A very happy new year to you up there in the land of the Shire! Thank you so much x
So glad you are embracing the country – you’re just the sort of family we all want moving to our village, lucky Hampshire!
High praise indeed – I’m not sure we deserve it! That’s terribly kind of you to say x
Happy New Year! And you made me laugh again with the church bribery – how well I remember those days. I once gave my daughters massive purple gob-stoppers – lasted until the Collection. One of our neighbours said, ‘Not really Church children are they, dear?’.
Huge best wishes with your new adventures – massively looking forward to reading about them.
Here’s to 2014!
Oh C! I am definitely going to try the gob-stoppers. Thank you as always for reading, commenting and being so supportive x
And a Happy New Year to you all my dear! Your goings on all sound terribly amusing, and I bloody love tweed! Wishing you all the most marvellous 2014
So pleased you approve of the tweed! Happy New Year to you lovely lady x
Your wreath made me spurt me tea! Save one for a Robin Hood hat!
Happy New Year to you xx
Ooh no – wasted tea! Sorry!! xx
Happy New Year Margot. Yours remains one of my favourite blogs (and my Dad is still reading…..) and so pleased you had an amazing Christmas – looking forward to reading more this year xxx
Oh Cathie, thank you so so much! Looking forward to whatever 2014 has to throw at me! Hope you and your lovely family had a good Christmas and New Year xx
You have been amazing this last year – I have enjoyed your blog immensely and I look forward to seeing what 2014 brings for you. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo x
So great that the village has embraced you, I guess not the case for everyone that moves to the country. We’re in full on decorating mode at the moment having been here 9 months now it feels like time. Does mean doing a couple of hours every evening when the kids are in bed though.