christmas past


Christmas at Penparc Cottage was quiet, though not as restfully idyllic as we were hoping for, as Peter, his brother Andrew and I all went down with colds. Christmas dinner got delayed until the 27th as no-one quite felt up to cooking or eating it. Nevertheless, there were pleasures to be had. We raised no tree, but I assembled the beautiful building-block Baroque Church sent to me from America last year by Anita Mills, and threaded it with cheery Christmas-lights. We read, dozed, stoked up the wood-burning stove, made lots of tea and sank into a Benilyn-swaddled haze, comforted by Ella and Louis on the turntable. I read through what we called the visitor book, though it became more of a log-book as I added  entries in it over the years. Most of the significant episodes of our time at the cottage are recorded in it in words and pictures, including how we set about designing and making the garden, and the arrival of Jack in 2004, a gift from our friend Pip.

Above: Jack at ten weeks old, sitting in a herb-bed  at Penparc Cottage.

Jack alone among us this Christmas was undiminished by germs, twice a day joyfully giving himself up to the delights of tearing around the beach. When thrown, his ball proved to be entertainingly unpredictable in its storm-lashed trajectory, and both dog and ball were loaned wings by the wind. In pursuit of that ball Jack braved the surf, swam the stream-turned-roiling-river and scampered over the treacherously slippery rocks. No matter how cold and wet it got, still he played, never ready to give up and head back for the cottage even when my finger-tips started turning blue from exposure. He is indefatigable.

That’s all from the Artlog for 2012. I wish all who regularly call by here a very happy new year. Last thanks go to Lucy and Shellie for so generously and enthusiastically shouldering the responsibilities of the Alphabet Soup online exhibition. I really appreciated the break, and Lucy curated it beautifully. Posting here will restart in just over a week. Until then, good cheer to you all.

19 thoughts on “christmas past

  1. Awww, puppy pics!

    It’s often the way when you finally can and do stop from stressful activities that the viruses move in. Though I think sometimes it might be a way of the body insisting on total rest. Odd how there doesn’t seem to be a common cold for dogs!

    The Baroque church was beautiful. Happy New Year to you both, and keep taking it a bit easier for as long as you can.

  2. A very glad New Year to all three–and may all the witches and warts of the past year vanish in a twinkling, to be replaced by good fairies who strew rose petals on your various ways. And to Jack, may frisk and frolic and nose-to-tail dreams be your lot in the next year!

  3. A very happy New Year to you, Peter, and Jack, Clive; looking forward to more fascinating, inspiring posts in 2013, as well as an exhibition by the sounds of , and plenty of surprises I’m sure. All the best,
    Phil & Jan x

  4. Hope the cold has cleared up by now Clive. It’s moved southwards a few miles and now I have it, but it is only a cold, so life goes on. Happy New Year to you both. Here’s to another entertaining, intriguing, enlightening and creative year ahead with the Artlog. Enjoy the rest of your break and I hope 2013 brings all that you want from it.

  5. Clive, it’s good to know the chapel left the light on for you. Feel better and have a lovely turn into the new year. Finding this virtual respite has proven to be one of the great blessings of 2012.

  6. Oh dear – so sorry about the colds, glad you’re all on the mend. Jack was adorable as a puppy, no wonder you fell so swiftly and firmly in love! Bonne Année to all, and be well!

  7. Seasons Greetings to you all.

    And isn’t it amazing that dogs just don’t seem to get colds and in all weathers can find joy in little things like balls!

    I hope you are all better soon.

    • Thank you for that. Much appreciated. I hope that your New Year is a joyful one. Stay healthy and happy.

      I hope too that your enamelware went down well for all those who were lucky enough to be recipients over Christmas. You made such a fabulous job of those mugs and coffee-pots!

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