For breakfast I had an egg from my friend Liz, who keeps chickens and goats at her smallholding near Acle (her husband works as a limnologist for the Broads Authority). Then we took Fido to Spur Lane for a walk. We got to work in Norwich at about ten o’ clock. I was told by Pearl (the optician’s receptionist) that I had missed a customer, but all was not lost as she phone back later. Bill phoned and spoke to my sister Tig while I packed up her Christmas gift, and one for cousin Marion too (a calendar).

At midday I drove Pearl to the station where she was due to catch the train to London, to spend the holiday with her daughter Georgina and partner Julius. She was very grateful for the lift. We had shrimps for lunch and then a boy and girl collected the optical instrument that had been ordered over the phone. I later had a visit from the customer herself; she wants a floor stand for the magnifying lanp, which I will provide for her after Christmas. We took Fido to Wash Lane where I gathered some logs in the dark. Sawed them up when we got home, while Tig made a mince-pie. Our next door neighbours Betty and Graham invited us round for whisky and mince-pies. For supper we had sausages and mushrooms.


Good old Father Christmas gave me some Mexican Jumping Beans (great fun). We had breakfast and then put the goose in the oven. After a cup of coffee we opened our presents. I got a pair of trousers and a pair of shoes. I got a puzzle from my sister in Canada which kept me busy for much of the morning, although I also played with my jumping beans. The goose was delicious; at 3 p.m. we watched the Queen. Then we went to Saxlingham and gathered some more logs on Smock Mill Common, while Fido had a sniff round.  For tea we had Christmas cake, home-made by Tiggie. I put on the record player and played Scottish accordion music by the Alexander Brothers, hand-bells and Corelli’s Christmas concerto. In the evening we watched ‘Death on the Nile’ by Agatha Christie. For our evening meal we had pea soup and apple pie.


Ditchingham House c1910. The card says:"I thought perhaps you would like this card. Mr Rider Haggard lives here."

Ditchingham House

For breakfast we had goose liver and bacon. We took the dog out in the car and gathered some more logs. For the rest of the morning we were reading our new books and being suitably lazy. For lunch it was cold goose and watercress followed by blackcurrant pie and ice cream. We went to Ditchingham and took Fido for a run across Bath Hills – and you guessed it – picked up some more logs! It was very muddy under foot. When we got home again Tig had to have rest but I made use of the remaining daylight to do some gardening. I moved some stones from the shrubbery and spiked most of the low lawn. After that I felt rather stiff, but at least I had worked off some of the goose  – but all the good was undone by having Christmas cake for tea! After dark I went into the garage and put the car battery on the charger. I also sharpened the teeth of the chain saw. We had wine by the fire and then gave Fido a bath. I got my accordion out and had a little play. On TV we watched Hi-de-Hi! and another Agatha Christie film, ‘The Spider’s Web’. It has been a mild Christmas.

[Some people may wonder how I can remember what happened over thirty years ago in such detail, but that is the effect of keeping a diary; I can actually remember nothing of the days.]




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