Our Christmas decorations have been taken down (not yet packed away) and the festive time is at an end - it's Twelfth Night. In some parts of England there are still Twelfth Night traditions, but no Green Men and Mummers around here; if there were it would be a very very cold night to be cavorting around in ribbons, bells and branches of holly.
There's been no further snow here since New Year's Day morning, unlike many parts of the country which this evening have the heaviest snowfall for at least thirty years. The snowstorm is heading our way but may not reach us, we'll have to wait to see.
I remember at school we put on a production of Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night' as the school Christmas play. It was set in modern dress - that's 1970's modern dress, which aptly suited the girls dressed as boys plot-line - trouser suits, shirts with floral prints and big collars or silk ruffles. It was the first Shakespeare play I actually enjoyed being part of (even if I only sewed shirts and painted cardboard trees).
So what happened on the twelfth day of Christmas in my corner of Suffolk . . .
• I cooked a hot breakfast for the under-gardeners - porridge with chopped apple and marrow.
• I drove to the feed stores - the animal feed merchants for mixed corn for the under-gardeners and to my favourite local butchers for venison, lamb, chicken and vegetables for us. I also found out that the person I stood behind in the butchers' queue before Christmas, who thought was one of my favourite travel journalists, was indeed him! But I'm not telling you who it was.
• I drove home very very cautiously as the road back into the northern end of the village was covered with icy compacted snow.
• I discovered that Tarragon our Araucana cockerel can jump. In fact he jumped right over my head (I'm 160cm) which gave me a shock I can tell you.
• Ginger Spice also got a shock when Tarragon showed her what a virile young chap he is - Ooooo, I say!
• And I managed to get down to work on designs for new linocuts inspired by the walks we've been doing recently.
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