Our little home is very 'cosy'; being inside it is rather like being given one huge hug. It is built of honey-coloured stone, and is about 300 years old.
In Winter, and especially approaching Christmas, the cottage really comes alive. The tree comes indoors, and, with help from the children, it is covered with some very old, and a few new, baubles, etc. The ancient beams are hung with gaudy sparkly garlands, and even more giant baubles.
At a certain age I think we all become reflective (for obvious reasons), occasionally I sit here alone (if Lady M is baby sitting up at the barn), and I stare quietly into the fire. I love to sit by candlelight with a black-n-white dog snoozing at my feet (above is another earlier photo with Bok). The silence and the feeling of 'emotional warmth' is all embracing. I'm a naturally quiet person, and I enjoy my solitude; time to sit back, be grateful for our blessings, and contemplate what a wonderful time we've had since moving South of the channel.
Sadly, in recent years, we have encountered one or two whose behaviour has been less than exemplary, and we've had to cut them loose; but generally our lives for the past 47 years have been uneventful and wonderful. Unfortunately bad neighbours exist everywhere, and one simply has to avoid them; we can't stop people from moving here.
I've only owned about six houses in my life, some big, some small, but where I am at the moment is by far the most pleasant. The uninterrupted view from the front, my garden at Haddock's, and everything that the house now offers, are all that I could have hoped for, and when reflected upon in front of the fire, makes me very happy. It may be the smallest house I've ever owned, and probably the cheapest, but it's by far the nicest.
I've never asked for much, but I do have standards; especially where manners and politeness are concerned. My standards may be very different to those of others, and that's possibly why I keep to myself as much as possible; I can't stand bad behaviour and oafishness. Sitting by my fire with Billy at my feet in this lovely old cottage, and Christmas just a few days away, is (for me) as good as it gets.