|The World of Arthur Ransome|
The danger is that time gets eaten away in the most agreeable way at present with walks with Leo, a dangerous new fascination with bridge, and fun with the grandchildren. There are now seven, with no 8 expected in March [FYI: Tilly and Tom have Ben (6) and Meg (3), Daisy and James have Fox (4) and Woody (8mths), Ellie and Jamie have Sam (7) and Olivia (5), and Susie and Joe have Lenny (1) and a nicely rounded tum. This year their Christmas quilts diversified into tiny ones for Meg's BABY and Olivia's TED as well as cot-sized ones for Lenny and Woody.
Christmas was a fullscale celebration, with both my own friends and all four girls, to say nothing of several in-laws. The twelve day aftermath much needed; it has also been an opportunity for refining the delights of the North Pole, a hut halfway down the garden which is proving to have all the magical atmosphere of the dear old hut at Chalfont Road. You can see what it looks like if you check out Rowlinson's soi-disant 'corner potting store'; any fool can see that it is in fact, once thickly insulated, an ideal light-drenched place to work. Martin supplied a carpet; Brian and Mary an apple-cheeked clock, Gillian and Phil a lloyd room chair. I have resisted my old delightful distraction of a real woodburning stove [to great relief of sons-in-law] in favour of bringing down the cod one I've had in the attic. So far the mornings are too dank and dark for early sorties, but I'm already feeling better for marooning myself out of reach of man or beast [expect for Leo and the hens) every morning. I'm such an inveterate domesticator that being anywhere in the house offers irresistible distractions. Down there there are no books, no music, no wi-fi, no phones, just space to think and write. We'll see.