Friday, December 28, 2007

Empty nest syndrome

We have just folded 6' 2" of Andrew into the back of Tanith's overloaded car and waved them off. Christmas is officially over for us and the house seems so quiet and empty. I could start on the laundry and clearing up, I could start on the thank you letters, there is a lot of USEFUL stuff I could be doing but it will still be there to be done tomorrow, so I'll catch up with my virtual friends instead.

Thank you for all the kind greetings. I hope you have all had as good a time as we have. I hope that journeys were trouble-free, family gatherings full of fun and good cheer, food delicio
us and beverages as intoxicating or refreshing as you desired and that everyone had lots of 'good swag'.

Our festive time always ends with a drive into the country on December 27th. Friend Keith lives in Plymouth, exactly 100 miles from our door to his and every year we meet up at a country inn for lunch and our 'traditional Christmas walk'. For a number of years, we've been meeting at the 11th century Church House Inn in Rattery. This meant a drive of 70 miles for us and 30 for Keith and eventually the cries of "not fair" worked and we started to look for an alternative, more equitable meeting place. It had
to be a traditional inn with log fires and great food, with good walks and an interesting old church to visit. Google helped me find the perfect place: The Five Bells Inn at Clyst Hydon, exactly halfway between Keith's house and ours.

Yesterday, after a superb lunch, we walked through the lanes and spent some time exploring the village church of St Andrew. This is a far more modern building than the church at Rattery, being a mere 600+ years old, but it is still worth a visit.
We particularly liked the box pews, dating from 1832. Our favourite feature of Rattery church was an ancient, yellowed poster depicting the 'Rules of the Church'. Written in beautiful Gothic script, they told worshippers exactly how to behave, starting with our favourite, oft quoted "Kneel on your knees".

And now it's all over: the festive meals, the carols, the visits and exchanging of gifts; our visitors have left and the house is so quiet. I suppose I could go and start on the chores but perhaps today would be better spent in reading some of my new books - I
expect you are all doing that!


  1. Well M, nothing really changes; I see we are both writing about lunches at pubs and walks . . . but different pubs and different walks, so that's OK! (No shortage of either in Devon and Somerset.)

    Hope you had a wonderful time with your family and look forward to the next branch meeting of the Devon bloggers.

  2. It sounds like you had a wonderful holiday with family and friends, but it also sounds like you'll be glad to get back to normal. Time to read - that's a treasure!

    I'm still packing! The more I get rid of stuff, the more stuff I have, seemingly! I'm declaring a moratorium on swag for the foreseeable future. At least until I'm rid of the old.

    Happy New Year!

  3. You are right, Duck, festivities are wonderful in small doses! (I didn't realise I had given myself away so obviously, though.)

    I know what you mean about stuff apparently increasing, the more you discard. Every time I try to declutter the house, I seem to end up with less space. Good luck with all of it. And a very Happy New Year to you, too!


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