The landscape may look like a Christmas card, but inside the house at Prosperous Farm, apart from having plenty of delicious food in store, it is nothing at all like Christmas.
A trip to the supermarket in Granpa’s old wheelchair last night saw the last of the seasonal provisions bought. It is a life lesson perhaps we should all take. The view from a wheelchair, as many people already know, is different, but it is something that should be experienced at first hand to really understand. Free choice is not easily attained when one has to ask to be pushed up to every shelf, or to keep asking for this, that and the other to be fetched. As several members of the family rumbled round the packed supermarket in convoy with the shopping trolley we met up with several people we knew, all doing their last food shopping. On leaving the shop we found we were in a very heavy snowstorm and today we have several more inches and a lot more ice.
There is no real tree this year, just a mini artificial one, and very few presents as shopping on crutches in heavy snow and ice is simply not going to happen. We will however still be able to concentrate on the food, with a few cheats such as ready-made cranberry sauce in mulled wine, and a few bought puddings, and of course the good company. We have home cured ham to cook tomorrow, home reared rib of beef to roast on Christmas Eve and no doubt a good turkey will arrive in due course for the big day. The breadcrumbs for the bread sauce are already in the freezer. Nature has buried the carefully grown veggies in snow and frozen ground, and some replacements were hastily bought from the supermarket, however Jethro remains confident he can produce a swede and some sprouts for the big day.
We will be warm by the fire and together as a family, and be able to have lots of good things to eat. Thankfully we are not trying to cross the channel or are stuck far from home. Jethro will be very busy and we hope for a thaw [but not too rapid a one, as that causes other problems] as the extra workload from all the livestock in this freezing and snowy weather grinds on. We even have made a contingency plan for other members of the family originally due to have Christmas elsewhere, if they can’t get to their planned destination on Thursday, we will have plenty of room and food.
Carols and the Christmas tradition will be courtesy of Kings College on Christmas Eve on the radio. We missed the village carol service on Sunday owing to the snow and ice and taking further unnecessary risks, and it is unlikely we will make it on the day itself owing to the weather, workload and my plastered leg. In these winter conditions all the animals must be fed and watered daily.
Jethro said at breakfast that the meeting of world leaders in Copenhagen clearly achieved its aim as the weather has been dire and very cold ever since. Why has no-one else thought of this?