After a month of mainly avoiding work I went to Brooke Hall on Thursday for the last day of term. We collected the remaining Paper Whites from the nursery, gathered hazel branches from the wild garden, and enclosed the narcissi in mini fences of twigs and green twine. Some of the blooms which had had their day in the Hall were diverted from the compost heap and came to rest by the privvy, en route to one's own hall. Any place less draughty could lead to asphyxiation from the rather overpowering scent. At lunch time I went to check on the 'decorative bramble' to see whether it was enjoying its moment of glory in the bleak mid-winter (see Garden Clichés 1a). It seemed happy enough but may have been more smug if the scene wasn't so autumnal. Hee hee.
Friday was Market Day in Uppingham and a chance for some people to buy last minute candles before the gales blew in. I had been to a pagan winter solstice gathering the night before in which mulled wine with vodka was served, braziers were lit and an edible Yule Log consumed. By mid-morning I'd finished a bacon butty from Baines but still wasn't feeling 100%. Suddenly two people of the cloth appeared, one female and one male. They peeled back the cover of a large box, simultaneously revealing an industrial-sized thermos. 'We would like to offer you a mince pie and some mulled wine, compliments of the Church.' It was a miracle; I was cured.