A breezy start to the New Year with 60 mph winds sweeping in from the Atlantic. The old house spent the first night of 2010 reverberating to the banging of shutters and creaking of beams. Adding to the noise the dreaded swimming pool alarm decided to go off no less than eight times between two thirty and dawn - tree branches were falling on the pool cover and setting off the motion detector. How not to make friends with your neighbours! I got up the first four times but eventually stayed in bed and pulled the covers over my head. Hopefully, most of the village folk were in an armagnac induced sleep and failed to notice our unseasonal siren. It is my job today to find a way of turning down the volume on the devilish inherited contraption. We have an instruction manual but the previous owners labrador has chewed the relevant pages so that they are totally illegible.
We had been invited to a number of parties (the locals in the village are proving to be most congenial neighbours) but finally opted for a quiet Hogmanay dinner alone with the family. Wilf and Digby did their best to stay awake for the arrival of the New Year but by eleven o'clock both of them were sprawled out on the carpets in the hallway, the excitement simply too much.Wilf sleeps completely silently but Digby snores away like an old trooper with an eighty a day habit. 'The font' would say that the likeness between a dog and its owner can be uncanny. Hmppph.