There is certainly a Christmassy feel to the place:
1. Candlelight is our main source of lighting. The storms blew deluges of rain under a roof and into the electrics, shorting some of them out. Most importantly, many of the sockets still work, so the kilos of meat in the freezers (enough to feed the neighbourhood for the next few festive seasons) are safe, and we cook by a wood-fired stove. Phew; the rib of beef for Christmas Day is still on.
2. We are inaccessible unless in a tractor, 4WD or a horse and trap. Sadly not because the snow is deep and crisp and even but because the flood water is half way up the drive.
3. There is new life: the last cow to calve (totally out of sync with the rest of the herd) did so in the middle of the night in the height of the storm. There was not a star or a wise man to be seen in that weather, but a gorgeous, bonny little Red Devon arrived unaided into the world. No prizes for guessing what the kids have called it!
4. An early Christmas present has arrived: I have a book deal. My first book ‘Call the Vet’ has been accepted and will be published by Ebury in April 2014. The fortunes and misfortunes of a newly-qualified vet. A semi-autobiography!
5. The cattle are lowing – they are all housed now. After a lovely dry December they are finally back in the barns. They do in fact beckon to be strawed down and fed, so I will sign off and wish you and all your four-legged friends a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year.