Friday, December 21, 2007

'twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring not even a mouse,
because Badger's cat Frank had enjoyed them for his tea,
which is what Ms M and her boy are teaching Badger and Stray to call dinner ...


Contrary to reports, it's not even slightly grim up north.

The move went ... well, actually the whole boxes bit was fine.  BT of course pissed us about for week after week before finally admitting that they can't actually provide broadband in our village because we share 5 phone lines between 20 houses.  

We were offline for a little while, and I held in mind the wonderful words of Douglas Adams:
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

We are now on broadband thanks to a huge satellite dish in our back garden (please phone to make a booking if you would like to borrow it for your alien landing).

The village is gorgeous.  The weather ranges from swirling mist to inch-thick ice crunching under boot beneath bright blue skies.  We have a river and waterfalls which are fed almost entirely by rain running off the hills.  After 3 wet days the ford disappears, and after 3 dry days you can cross at almost any point.  We haven't had a full thaw for a fortnight, and as the water level dropped away huge sheets of ice split and tipped, now pointing skywards. Proper ice sculptures.

The drive to the supermarket is 12 miles on a 'road' that only got promoted from the status of farm-track fairly recently.  Older maps still show a dead end at the next village.  I have forgotten what traffic is but now allow extra time for stubborn livestock in the middle of the road or a flock of sheep being moved from field to field.  It takes 40 minutes round-trip to get a pint of milk, but I've yet to feel anything except really really really bloody lucky - people drive for miles to see this view of Pen-y-ghent:

I can't wait for people to visit me.  I think Badger, Ms M and I may have lucked upon the most beautiful place in the world.  Our neighbours have been really welcoming and I really do feel as though this is where I am meant to be, in all 4 dimensions.

To all who I owe emails, cards, phone calls, blog comments etc - please forgive me, I have been in a whirlwind of unpacking and DIY and catching up on work for neglected clients.  My Orange phone has no reception at all in this valley so I'm currently moving to Vodafone.  BT managed to cut off my main email address for a while because they'd moved it to the broadband service that they couldn't provide ... so if you've sent mail and not received a reply please do send again!

Hoping you're all as happy as I am this christmas ...



Blogger Misssy M said...

I DID wonder if communications were a little tricky over there not having read anything from you or Ms M lately.

Good to hear you are all happy and back in touch with the rest of the planet! Looks beautiful (and that's coming from someone else with Lord of the rings type vistas outside her bedroom window)

21 December, 2007 14:25  
Blogger Random Reflections said...

Hooray you're alive! Hooray you're happy! I hope you have a restful few days in the run up to Christmas.

21 December, 2007 14:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's really nice to see you here again.... I was wondering how things were going with the move. Your new surrounds sound fablulous. Happy Christmas!
Susanne at A Life in Wales
who for the life of her can not remember her Blogger password. :-)

21 December, 2007 18:45  
Blogger Jean said...

So good to hear from you. Happy Christmas! lots of love xxxx

22 December, 2007 14:02  
Blogger That's So Pants said...

Good to have you back Stray. Hope you all have a lovely Christmas



22 December, 2007 16:27  
Anonymous Daisy-Winifred said...

Oh, I kind of think paper and pencil is rather good...but then a stamp and an address are needed for those and one without the other just doesn't get off a desk I have found:0)

Glad to see the blue sky we have had here has graced your valley too. All hail the wood burning stove and thermal underwear is what I say.

May your stars shine bright and close by angel smile gently on you, peace on earth and especially in yer heart gal. Take care with all that freedom:0)

22 December, 2007 23:17  
Anonymous trousers said...

Welcome back! And pass my best wishes on to Ms M also. Wishing you a Happy Christmas and what sounds like it promises to be a good 2008

23 December, 2007 16:56  
Blogger sheepish said...

Glad to see you back and so delighted that you have found your own bit of heaven.

Enjoy and enjoy and enjoy.

23 December, 2007 18:02  
Blogger Jon M said...

Merry Cmas Stray!

24 December, 2007 13:13  
Blogger But Why? said...

You sound as happy as a pig in muck. Merry Christmas to you and yours - have a good one!

P.S. One of the reasons it's not actually grim up north is that we have been carefully perpetuating that myth to keep those damned southerners away. Gracious me, woman, you mean to say you've learned what time of day to serve dinner and tea, but not yet to act dumb, chew straw, and refuse to converse with strangers except on any matter cow-related, otherwise preferring to utter a string of incomprehensible gibberish whilst grinning inanely in a slightly threatening manner? What is the world coming to?!?

24 December, 2007 19:22  
Blogger Badger said...

Young Badger is now missing the new home very much... Its grim down south. :(

24 December, 2007 20:23  
Blogger Böbø said...

Dear Stray, what a beautiful post. It's so nice that your're back AND so nice to know that if there were loved-up arm wrestling contests, you'd be a worthy competitor ... if we ignore the whole size difference thing.

My Edinburgh is fabbo and my noveau parenting skills is a fascinating challenge!!! (More of which later).

Will get a date sorted to pop round for tea when I'm back in boboland.

Hugs xxxxxx

26 December, 2007 12:58  
Blogger Stray said...

Misssy M - oh yes! I expect those hobbits to pop round for tea at any moment ... thank you for missing us!

RR - Yay! Yay! :) :) :) Run up to christmas was a tiny bit busy but the actual event has been blissful ... completely calm and chilled out and lovely.

Susanne - ah, the joy of lost passwords ... nearly as annoying as forgotten pin numbers - eek! Happy Christmas to you too ... and yes, completely and totally fabulous.

Jean - lovely lovely jean! Please come and visit some time next year - it's completely bloody gorgeous and I need witnesses :)

Pants - you too! Congratulations on the sale of your Biscuit (ok, that's Ben at Fell-to-earth 's analogy but I liked it ... selling a house just sounds so HUGE).

DW - thermal underwear is my only look these days. Yes - post is good! Unfortunately our house address doesn't officially exist yet ... so even that can be a little sketchy - Royal Mail managed to redirect our post to our next door neighbour. Fortunately we have a lovely postman who now knows our names and spots wayward letters and parcels!

It has been an incredibly peaceful and loving christmas - can't imagine a more blissful few days, so that angel deserves a bonus.

trousers - I shall pass on your best wishes. Maybe hook up for a walk some time in 2008?

Sheepish - we will, we will, we will. I think of you often - we are surrounded by sheeeeeeep!

Jon M - and a very happy new year to you too sir!

Dr But Why? - it's soooo fab ... as you know :) I have built more bookshelves since you assisted so ably with the first lot, and now our books are not only categorised by type, but our novels are in alphabetical order too. *sigh*.

Badger - we miss you too! Hurry home little badger ... in your lovely Land Rover :)

Bobo - ah, I am breathing a sigh of relief that as lovely boy is a very very emotionally mature 12 year old I'm not having to take parenting 101 ... good luck to ya! Can't wait to have you round for tea - let us know when you're back in boboland!

28 December, 2007 00:12  
Anonymous trousers said...

That sounds good to me stray!

28 December, 2007 12:11  
Blogger But Why? said...

For goodness sake - I didn't assist in bookcase building so you could while away your hours indulging in a rare form of literal accounting!

(Are the shelves neatly labelled and colour-coded as well?)

28 December, 2007 13:45  
Blogger Caroline said...

Hoping that 2008 is a year of calm, of love and of happily ever after.

Hugs to you all

28 December, 2007 15:59  
Blogger Miss Tickle said...

So glad you are so happy. Love to all three of you and a happy new year.

29 December, 2007 15:14  
Blogger Drak said...

Good to hear its all working out so well..
Idyllic life in the middle of nowhere AND broadband? The world is full of marvels.

01 January, 2008 22:57  

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