Peace and almost quiet at Mother's Garden

By Martin Kirby

Sunday morning, December 19. Christmas is just a whisper away and we have dug out our CD of carols from around the world, and tugged our plastic tree from beneath the boxes in the loft.
Today has been our last lie-in for a while, for Australians Sophie and Steve (who have been on dawn animal duty for weeks) leave for snowy Edinburgh tomorrow, winter willing.
There is no crystal light today, but a dream-like softness lingers. We have been home for four days, and it still feels as if Mother's Garden is holding its breath. And we still wait for the birth of the foals. Petita the pony has rubbed her nose and neck bare, so we have set up an electric fence on the meadow so she can roam without a halter. Her daughter Remoli is on a long tether close by, growing ever rounder.
Our pair of resident ravens call overhead as, in turn, the distant drrrr of the woodpecker, the baying of the hunting dogs and the echo of the gun bounce from the limestone cliffs of the valley. Two nut roasts are baking in the woodstove oven, along with red peppers and aubergine. Beside me Maggie is making our Christmas pudding. Both the nut roasts and pudding will pop up on our recipe page some day soon, as I remind myself of the fulfillment of keeping our website alive.
As for the Christmas tree, it has been assembled with all the usual mixed emotions. Real trees are so much more beautiful, the quintessence of festival, but come January 6th I will be so glad we have resisted again.


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