In which it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

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We had a brilliant weekend; celebrating a 30th birthday, a walk in the frosty countryside followed by pints in a cosy pub, and then rounded everything off very nicely with a trip to the Pony and Trap for dinner on Sunday evening. After October’s stupendous Michelin meal at Casamia we went on the hunt for other local places that were recommended, and discovered that this little pub in Chew Magna, just fifteen minutes from our house, also held a coveted star. Our meal there was our Christmas gift to each other, and boy did it beat a pair of socks or some bath cubes. I’ve never had better chips and the spiced creme brulee with apple sorbet was one of the best desserts I have ever had. If you find yourselves in this part of the world, go. And at £25 for three courses I think it’s the most affordable Michelin restaurant in the country.

*****

Christmas has crept up on me this year. Although I started planning gifts and things about two months ago, I’ve still managed to be hoodwinked with the speed at which 25th December has come around. I finally finished off my gifts last night, after making three jars of sugar scrub from this tutorial, so aside from a few small things to wrap and a few stollen bars to make, we’re pretty much done. Two and half days more of work and then two whole weeks off – bliss. This year we’re off to S’ parents for Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing Day, and then spending the rest of the time doing not a lot back in Bristol.

The only thing I’m not looking forward to about Christmas is having to leave Olivia for three days. Although we’ve got a great cat sitter coming in to feed and cuddle her, I feel like we’re abandoning her, Home Alone style. After only two weeks with Olivia it feels like we’ve had her forever, and I’m so happy to have a cat permanently in the house. Her love for killing inanimate objects grows daily (her catnip mice, string, the TV cables, my measuring tape), as does her repertoire of squeaks and chirrups. She’s also very affectionate, and although she won’t sit on our laps yet, she likes to be nearby, sitting on the top of the sofa cushion or in between us. After Christmas we’ll be able to let her out, and all I can say is, god help the neighbourhood mice. I think their days are numbered.

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