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Like so many people I know, I’ve spent a large part of the last week in bed with proper flu.  It’s left a lingering chesty cough and I was a little concerned about how I would cope with playing tenor sax for the Trent River Big Band who were performing at a Golden Wedding celebration.  Firstly, would we get there with the forecast snow and ice, and secondly, would playing throw me into paroxysms of coughing or suppress the tickle? 

Happily for us, but not for other areas of the country, the snow gave us a miss, and although the roads were quite slick, slow driving got us there and back safely.  Secondly, the cough seemed to disappear whilst I was playing, returning at the breaks to catch up!  It was a lovely ‘do’ with ball-room dances like foxtrot, waltzes, and quick-steps and it was delightful watching people dancing these old dances.  At the same time, the final of Strictly Come Dancing was on TV, encouraging many more people to learn these graceful dances. 

Having the best part of a week in bed meant time to catch up with some reading.  With the start of a masters degree beginning in January, I had some geology books to peruse and a wonderful book called The Earth – An Intimate History, by Richard Fortey has been illuminating.  I’ve now got some serious text books to get my teeth into, which should keep the this part of the Brown household quiet for a while, in between decorating for Christmas and buying last minute presents and wrapping them.  We are not big purchasers for Christmas, preferring little treats, and enjoying the food and company.  I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of having a great time on a small fixed budget, and we seem to have as much fun as others who spend ridiculous amounts of cash on presents!   

The recent cold weather has been an amazing experience in terms of natural beauty.  I’m not a good photographer, but nature can make the best pictures!  Here are a few of the ice sculptures in our pond, created by the fountain….


I hope you are enjoying your festive celebrations, whatever your beliefs and creeds.  I’m off to put up the tree and decorations, and listen to some music whilst the lunch is cooking!  Happy Holidays!