Chill December

Chill December brings the sleet,
Blazing fire and Christmas treat.

(English nursery rhyme)

It's the first day of December, and as if to mark the day, the weather has obliged with a thick frost and bright sunshine. I can't believe that only a few weeks ago, I viewed the cottage in the heat of a late summer day.
Despite all the chores that moving house dictates - the unpacking, the fixing of shelves and changing of lights, the frequent trips to B&Q, the daily discoveries (oh, is that where that screwdriver/knife/breadbin/chair/bookcase went!) - I've managed to do a bit of sorting out in the garden. In weather like this, it seems a crime not to be outside.
I put up bird feeders yesterday, and this morning, there was a bustle of small birds who were obviously delighted by the December bonus. The tits, I find, are always the first to discover the feeders, and a robin has been taking a proprietorial interest in the proceedings, but it will be interesting to see what else turns up. 

This moss-covered apple tree is the perfect place to hang a squirrel-proof feeder.

On a winter morning, the light changes minute by minute, which means interrupting your breakfast every five seconds to rush outside and take pictures.

As the sun got higher, it highlighted the frost on the trees in the meadow next door.

The next moment, you could almost believe that spring was on its way.

After a while, though, the cold drives you back indoors, as Luigi (above) will tell you. Those of you who have asked how the cats are settling in may like to know that they have already put their paw of approval (not to mention cat hair and pawprints) on the woodburning stove, the range in the kitchen, and my new bed.
They went to a cattery while I was packing up and moving, and it was interesting to see how it changed their behaviour. They shared a pen while they were there, and they seem much closer now. Perhaps they've realised that cuddling up together means they stay warmer.
They have been out in the garden for the first time, and I think they're going to enjoy life here immensely. It's hilarious watching them explore. Intrepid Luigi, despite his cuddly, cute demeanour, is always the leader in any expedition. Mario, who looks more athletic, is actually much more cautious and follows a couple of paces behind.


  1. I wonder how long it will be before the cats start to bring you presents!
    Glad things are going well

  2. Beautiful views and it looks like a great place to hike. It's good to see you and the cats are settling in for the winter. xoxogail

  3. Good morning Victoria. So good to know the critters are adjusting to their new home. I love your views and know you will never tire of them. We have experienced our second snowfall here in New England and all looks quite seasonal. I look forward to more tales from Awkward Hill.

  4. I dread moving our Chocolat. Aragon will just look unhappy. Chocolat is happy to explore the stationary car - but don't MOVE! Good to hear the three of you are settling in.

  5. The stone walls look gorgeous. I can picture two cats sunning themselves on spring days.

  6. Enjoy your dream; I know you will if our experiences are anything to go by. We (husband and I) followed our instincts and on the spur of the moment (almost) bought a derelict place with an acre of ground, an orchard, and chickens. We're still here after 43 years and I would not want to be anywhere else.

  7. Hi Victoria. It sounds like you are settling in well to your new home. Your new stove looks wonderful. I had one fitted earlier this year and absolutely love it. So much nicer than radiators!

    Glad the cats are settling in well. They are going to love so much space to roam in.

    We had our first frost this week. A pleasant change from rain!

  8. I have just spent a great few minutes catching up with your move, your new house and your garden plans. It looks fabulous. I am so glad you took the plunge. I will be fascinated to learn about your soil and your new garden. I am still learning about mine, several years on, and still finding things that will grow for me. Love your wood burning stove. I am totally addicted to mine in the house and also have one in my shepherd's hut!

  9. I have also been catching up, it sounds like a wonderful place you have moved to. Owls hooting, wow, and happy to hear that the cats are settling in - as you seem to be ;-) - am looking forward to reading more about your garden and life in Bibury.

  10. Love the picture of Luigi - can't wait to see them running around in the snow!


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