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A partridge in a pear tree...

Was pretty much the only thing missing. 30 horses, twelve dogs, several rabbits, several rats, 4 chickens and us.

Tollard is pretty enough in Winter. I took a photo of the Christmas night sunset, trying to catch the new moon over the stables. Turns out the camera's not good enough, and the moon ended up looking like some amorphous jelly bean in the sky. Dusk and sunset have always been my favourite times of day, but Boxing Day sunrise was breathtaking, a deep crimson glowing on the eastern horizon. The old rhyme warns of it signalling bad weather, all we got was a little rain and bitter cold. I should have expected it, after such a clear night, so many stars.

This year's Xmas held no magic for me. It happened too fast, I barely had time to buy cards, we didn't watch the queen's speech or the Dr Who Christmas special, or do any signature things. The magic was in watching the foals race each other round a field, one of them gamely chasing a chicken. The stables are hard work - I helped with feeding the horses and picking mud out of their hooves. I am in awe of my sister in law to be.

To be. Yes, I guess that's a new kind of magic :-)

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