I am sitting here at my study looking out of the window to an amazing view of the fields and just looking at a  fa

My new visitor for 2009

nstastic Mistle thrush just sitting on top of my garden wall. She seems to have decided this year is the year to show an appearance in my garden and it is all the better for it. They are a beautiful bird but she is not the only new visitor this year. I have also seen lots of pied wagtails which don’t usually venture into the garden. I am also convinced that I saw a sparrowhawk this morning wizzing through my garden chasing after some poor little sparrows and blue tits. I have never seen one before but its flight was majestic.

It is the day after one of my favourite days of the year, December the 21st. When you are this far out in the country you really notice the days getting longer and shorter, especially with no street lights to light your way. I was never really affected by the length of the day or the changes in time before as I was based in London. With permanent street lighting and not a single view to really look at, save the River Thames of course, which is beautiful in Chiswick where we were based, you never really notice light and dark.

Out here in the countryside, when the clocks go back in winter time, it now really saddens me to know that winter is on its way and time spent outside is now restricted. I have to say that this year we have had the most majestic autumn and now a beautiful start to winter. Snow has been laying on the ground for three days now and out here it really prevents you from doing anything. However it looks absolutely wonderful outside and the Mistle Thrush and I are enjoying ourselves.

So, what with the snow and the thought that the days will now be lengthening minute by minute each day, I am already starting to feel more content once more. Roll on Christmas Day which is usually a joyous occasion in our household. My wife makes such an effort usually but this year, with Sebastian now 15 months old, it makes it all the more special. He can now point to Father Christmas and to Rudolph and so there will be a little of the magic this year and I will be interested to see how he reacts to all these presents that he will be surrounded in. I wonder what his little mind will think and I wonder what type of memory will be left in his mind for next year and suddenly the little red and white man will arrive once more.

Christmas is such a wonderful time of year and so I wish you all the very best wishes over this period. Roll on 2010 and the new decade (depending on whether you think this is the true start to the decade!)