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6th December

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Edited by Cathy Winsor, Wednesday, 7 Dec 2011, 07:44

We are so pleased with the wood burning stove, this morning the smoke had disappeared and the fire was still burning, I just put on another log and we soon had a roaring fire again. We will have to sort out cat movements; neither of us got much sleep as we’d left the cat flap open thinking it would be nice for the cats to enjoy the warmth, but the cats’ response to open plan living is to move go up and down stairs, jump on and off our bed, and go in and out of the cat flap all night. One of them brought a small mammal inside the barn; we could hear a crunching noise as it ate whatever it was and the accompanied growling as it tried to keep the other cats at bay.  At 2am Philip went down, put the cats out and locked the cat flap, only to discover a few minutes later that there was still a cat inside, I put her out, locked the cat flap again but for the rest of night they scratched the cat flap repeatedly asking to come in. We’ll have to find something large to block it off.

A few months ago I did a three day writing course with a few other women and today we had a pre Christmas get together. Sue Barber who gave the course (and hosted the lunch) lives in a hill top village, in a crumbling farmhouse with lots of outbuildings. It was all very cosy; eating in their kitchen where she’d laid the dining table next to the Aga. We’d all brought a plate of something vegetarian; Philip had made a cherry pie for the occasion. All the talk was of writing and unwritten books, of the group only Sue and her partner, Leif Fielding have published books; of their wild lives in the sixties. That was after years of work, and they don’t expect to get rich on the sales, or even in Sue's case (she self published)to meet her printing costs. The problem is there are just so many books out there to be read and people will pick something they can see on the shelf or listed by Amazon, while I am sure many other wonderful books are neglected.

Philip painted the kitchen ceiling in the main house. After a week of reflection we opted for Farrow and Ball Strong white, we had an old oil based tin of that colour in the shed. The fumes it gave off were awful, Philip had painted with the windows closed and spent the evening feeling ill., but the kitchen looks so much better now it has a white ceiling.

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