Once I arrived at the farm I harvested some lavender. Naturally.
This lot was tied with twine and hung upside down in the hotwater cupboard to dry. I have plans to make little lavender bags with it. I doubt this will ever actually happen.
I then harvested more lavender and put posys of it in glass jars in everyone's bedrooms. I was sharing a bedroom with Claire who gets hayfever, I forgot about this.
After harvesting, I got to attack the overgrown lavender bushes with big clippers which is one of my FAVOURITE things to do. By the time I was finished with them they looked like neat little box hedges.
After a team effort baked cheesecake (how many people does it take to make a baked cheesecake? At least five apparently) and some other preparations for the next day's feasting, Claire and I went for a walk. If there was one reason I would want an iPhone, it's for the Hipstamatic app. I love these photos Claire took.
Mum and Dave's Irish friends and their two daughters are staying at the farm, so after watching Love Actually (I saw it for only the second time last Christmas and hated it; surprisingly, I didn't hate it as much this Christmas) we did the requisite Christmas eve duties for the five year old once she was asleep.
Then it was Christmas day.
Claire and I decided that this photo could go on the front of a Christmas card from the two of us next year, and say: 'Merry Christmas from the Christmas Spinsters'.
The five person baked cheesecake is bottom left, dusted with icing sugar. SO GOOD.
I (sunsmartly) sunbathed after eating way too much, while some of the kids played with playdough and made an excellent mess of playdough crumbs.
A month or so ago when Claire and I were in The Warehouse, we saw a book about some country romance. We decided our country Christmas could potentially follow the plot of the novel, hence my wistful scan of the horizon for a dashing veterinarian.
Claire, Sarah (the eldest Irish child), and I went for a long walk to try to counter the extreme amount of eating we'd done. It kind of worked, except that by the time we got home we were able to partake in round two - leftovers dinner. I then watched the Gavin & Stacey Christmas special which reinforced my love of the Welsh and Ruth Jones and James Corden.
Yesterday we went to Hanmer Springs for a picnic in the shade because it was so hot again. Then we went swimming and came home for a dinner of baked SALMON. I made potato salad which I christened 'Heart Attack Potato Salad' because of the amount of Real Foods mayonnaise in it. I think when I look back on this Christmas, I will remember the sheer amount and deliciouness of all the food, and the heat.
The company was pretty good, too.