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Freezing, but thankfully sunny today. Nice morning spent in Bishops Castle, went to library and came out with a great haul of favourite writers; Rose Tremain, Joseph Roth, William Trevor, Joyce Carol Oates, Amy Tan, plus some untried authors. Perfect for these dark, cold evenings to curl up by the fire (albeit a bit spitty with the ash we're burning).

Had great plans to do a "summing up" blog of the last year, but as usual, I'm behind hand with other pressing stuff so it has got a bit shelved. So probably it will happen in dribs and drabs, things suddenly coming to mind, probably quite insignificant to anyone happening to read this, but to me somehow indicative of the year. For instance growing the most amazing crop of purple sprouting broccoli, its special anyway for being one of the earliest things to crop in the garden, but this was so sweet and tender - looked an eyesore as it was swathed with enviromesh to prevent the peacocks from devouring it, but it was the best I'd ever eaten. 2009 I discovered the writer William Boyd, particularly enjoyed Armadillo, the Blue Afternoon and Fascination. Here's a link to his
site. But most importantly (how do I say this without sounding cliched?) I really dicovered how wonderful it is to have the love and support of family and friends. 2009 turned out to be pretty stressed, not only for myself, but I have felt it for a number of friends who have struggled with difficult things, and what has helped me more than anything else is to share good times with those we love.

And as a complete nonsequiter here's a little movie of my garden in summer to remind us of sunshine and warmth at the darkest times of the year. Enjoy it but don't expect much by way of action or plot. ...