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Tis’ Christmas Eve day or….tis’ the day before Christmas Day!

This morning we got up later than we did the day before and the day before that, intimating that we must be sleeping better so we must be either a) getting used to the sound of the church bells b) drinking more alcohol or c) in Maice’s case being knocked out by the potent fumes of the Tiger Balm drifting up from her pillow!  I’m surprised we slept so well considering the weather last night.  The wind was howling and the rain was lashing against the window panes but I suppose it drowned out the sound of the church bells, which can only be a good thing.

We conducted our usual morning Morecambe & Wise sketch; Maice served up the hot lemon water and then both she and Winston joined me in my bed where I was perusing the previous ‘blogs what I wrote’ and where we a) carried out the days ‘admin’ tasks b) discussed the weather and c) discussed where to go for todays walk. We didn’t get very far with these tasks other than we thought we’d  pop into the village store for another cappuccino on the way to wherever it was we were walking to!

We took a very reluctant Winston out in the rain to attend to his ablutions had showers and then proceeded to rustle up another lovely breakfast. Master Chef you’d better watch out!!

So, we finally made a decision.  With Maice still feeling under the weather we’d go for a short walk down to the beach and back again, so take-away cappuccinos purchased from the village store we walked down to Blackpool Sands careful to steer clear of any rotting fish that might encourage Winston to have another roll. Although the weather was a bit drizzly it was fairly mild so wanting to take advantage of the reasonable weather and wanting to get a few more steps in we decided on a circular walk that would take us back to Stoke Fleming. Of course we forgot to bring the leaflet with the directions, but let’s face it, how difficult could it be? If we remembered rightly all we had to do was take the road up the hill where we would behold a signpost directing us back to Stoke Fleming and then ‘hark’ when we hear the church bells ring we’d know we were back home.  We found a signpost that directed us up the lane to Strete. Now Strete is in completely the opposite direction to where we wanted to go but we figured that if we went up the lane we’d soon come to a signpost directing us cross country to Stoke Fleming.  We trudged up the never-ending very, very steep lane in the misty rain until we admitted defeat.  We whipped out our phones and googled where we were. Ok, seems we needed to retrace our steps and walk back along the beach. However, once down the bottom of the lane we came across another lane with a sign that said ‘Wine Shop 3/4 mile’. We figured if we followed this lane, not only would it lead to the wine shop but hopefully a sign-post to Stoke Fleming. It was still drizzling and we were getting very wet.  How long is 3/4 mile we wondered as we traipsed along the lane with a very bedraggled Winston in tow.  It seemed to be taking forever to find this wine shop!  Finally,  we came across the signpost to Stoke Fleming guiding us up another very steep lane! Ok, a regroup was required. The three of us stood beneath the signpost and deliberated our next more. Should we a) follow the directions up the very steep lane to Stoke Fleming or b) should be continue along the flat road to the wine-shop?  It was a unanimous vote and ten minutes later we were stood inside the wine-shop, in the middle of nowhere, enjoying a complimentary glass of sherry.  We spent a lovely half-hour chatting to the owner before heading back to Stoke Fleming, up a very long steep lane!!  Yes, we can say with confidence that this area of Devon is fairly hilly!

Our ‘short’ walk took just shy of three hours; we were wet, we were muddy and poor Winston was not happy as he once more found himself stood in the kitchen sink being washed down of all mud and gunk. He went into sulk mode after that and took himself off to his bean-bag for the rest of the afternoon whilst we poured ourselves an alcoholic beverage, heated up some mince pies and apple cake and sat and enjoyed two happy-sad films in succession….Goodbye Mr Chips and Goodnight Mr Tom.  Ah, there’s nothing quite like watching a good weepy film over Christmas!

Doesn’t time fly when you’re sat in front of the TV…….it was soon supper time so we sprung into action.  Maice took a reluctant Winston out for his early evening ablutions whilst I prepared supper; sausage and mash with onions cooked in a red-wine jus accompanied by green beans all sitting within a large Aunt Bessy’s (other brands are available) Yorkshire pudding.  It was enormous and we never thought we’d get through it but we did, and it was absolutely delicious. The diet most definitely starts on New Year’s Day…….!

We retired to our sofa’s once more, poured ourselves another drink and decided it was time for bed when we all started to fall asleep but not before taking a reluctant Winston out one final time.  We had considered going to midnight mass at the church next door but reckoned we’d drunk too much and would only fall asleep on the benches, which I suppose is what a lot of people end up doing!!

On that note we hope you’ve all been good this year and wake up to find an assortment of presents and gifts by the Christmas Tree.  We know Winston is very excited……

Night all…..M, A and Sir Winston xxx

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