2019 didn't begin well. It had only just started when our lovely Bok left us. It all happened so suddenly, and hit me very hard. The Vet' found a massive tumour on his Spleen, which sadly had spread to all his other vital organs; there was no hope.
I'd taken him for his usual walk in the early morning and he seemed fine, then by late afternoon he was gone. It took me weeks to recover from the shock, and much longer to accept that he's no longer here; RIP my darling boy. Our local 'Cruella' who'd recently threatened to kill him must have been rubbing her hands with glee. I buried him at Haddock's alongside Monty and Freddie.
It's amazing the positive effect a dog has on one's life and well-being, and how devastating it can be when they're gone. With Lady Magnon away in Australia I suddenly felt very alone, and admit to having shed the occasional tear whilst out walking.
Towards the end of the month we also said farewell to two very good 'human' friends who we'd known for over 47 years; since we first came to live in our village. Mme P was a close neighbour, and Mme H our local chatelaine. We'll miss them both hugely; both almost became surrogate family after our move into the unknown, and I thank them profoundly in absentia for their tolerance and wonderful friendship.
On less important matters, the opening months of 2019 were dominated (for us Brits) by the whole bloody Brexit business. Just when you thought a mess couldn't get messier; it did, and at times it almost looked like civil war.
In mid-Feb, my son Kimbo arrived with a cardboard box filled with trouble; an 8 week old Border Collie pup that we named Billy. The last 10 months have been filled with fun, laughter, and countless mops and buckets. Luckily, with a young puppy in the house, good weather was a real bonus, and house training was able to start quite early. He soon understood what's what. He's turned into a lovely dog; the children all adore him.
July was stinking hot, whilst back in the UK they witnessed the resignation of Theresa, and her replacement by Boris as PM.
In August, just as the weather cooled to a more acceptable 25 C-ish, our guests arrived in droves, and chaos ruled. Billy was ecstatic, Lady Magnon was in heaven, and we all had a really great time. 'Family' became the most important thing for a while, and we had plenty of very special times. With the boys growing fast, such a 'cousin camp' may not happen again.
On the 'Good News' front, England won the Cricket World Cup, and two members of the English 'Ineos' (Sky) cycle team members, Bernal and Thomas, came first and second respectively in the Tour de France. Meanwhile in Summer's classic battle between England and Oz for The Ashes, the result was 'a draw' (actually, not a bad result). And out in Japan, England's Rugby squad came away with the very respectable Silver Medal in the World Cup, having been beaten in the final by S Africa.
Our 2019 growing season was a bit hit-n-miss. With the extreme heat and drought of summer, only perennials with deep roots performed well. Apples, Pears, Tayberries, etc, all excelled; whereas our Tomatoes, Aubergines, Peppers, Beans, and Courgettes, eventually just gave-up regardless of my daily watering. Luckily we have plenty of leafy 'greens' which have been seeing us through winter.
My 2019 attempt at
wine vinegar making went exceptionally well, and I awarded my Vinaigre Cro an impressive 10/10. Ne'er mind!
All in all 2019 was a good year for the Magnons. Sadly our tiny hamlet is changing very fast, and has now passed the point of no return; what a shame. Someone once said that 'you can ruin anything by making it popular', and that person was right. We now feel as if we're living in some awful suburb, surrounded by constant building noise, and some very unpleasant people who think nothing of throwing stones at, or kicking, poor Billy. Very sad. We are probably the least affected by all the changes, but when we think back to how things were......
However, Billy has survived, and grown well. He's a very active dog, and the children all adore him.
So, we now look forward to 2020. We've promised ourselves that we shall return to over-wintering back in Blighty this coming year. We'll see.
We wish you all a very happy New Year. May all your projects be successful, your larder be full, and your bank statement be always written in black. Cro xx
p.s. In case you hadn't heard, Boris won a landslide victory in the General Election (thank goodness), but Brexit has yet to be finalised.