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Winter's Majesty. . .

 Here is the view from our driveway down toward the street just before 10:30 this (Friday) morning.  Definitely suburban, but awfully quiet and almost rural.  Works for me.

We're enjoying the winter so far here at Totleigh-in-theWold although there is not yet  quite enough snow for cross-country skiing.  Locals keep remarking to us, though, that this year has been unusual in that there is usually much more snow on the ground by this point.  Still, we've had a few opportunities to fire up the snowblower to clear the driveway before heading in to campus, and we routinely enjoy the fireplace most evenings.

This evening, the Grand Duchess and I will play a game or two of Scrabble and enjoy something medicinal by the hearth following the Young Master's bedtime.  I found her a nice bottle of Apricot brandy late this morning for us to sample a bit of, and then perhaps we might follow it with a glass of wine, or some single malt scotch. . .  all of which should help my Scrabble game immeasurably!

Lest anyone think me a complete lush and reprobate for purchasing booze before Noon, I can offer a defense, albeit a rather thin one.  I had to run a few errands once the Young Master had left for school as well as pick up a few things at the supermarket for supper this eveningNaturally, I took a spin through the wine and liquor aisles on my way to the checkout counter at the front of the store, and , well, there you are.  A few bottles of wine, the apricot brandy, and a bottle of single malt scotch magically found their way into the shopping cart.  

I chuckled at this as I stood in line to pay because it reminded me of my maternal grandmother's Friday forays to the grocery store and, more important, the Pennsylvania state-run liquor store.  She always picked up a bottle or two of something on the way home, usually scotch in the winter, gin in the summer, and wine year-round before the start of the weekend.  I've written here before about my Episcopalian and Methodist forbearers, all of whom enjoyed a drink or two in the late afternoons and early evenings before supper during the weekends and on holidays.  

I realize there are people out there who will equate that with being full-blown alcoholics on a park bench somewhere.  My non-obsevant Lutheran wife, on the other hand, grew up in a less well lubricated home -- practically a dry county if we are honest -- although she has acquired a taste for a sip or two of liquor, a glass of wine with supper, and once in a while some Irish whisky or single malt Scotch with me.  It can be a nice way to unwind before heading off to bed on a Friday or Saturday evening at the end of a long week, and we really don't indulge all that much.  A few bottles of the evil firewater last us a loooooong time in other words.

Finally, as an aside, my heavy, dark green duffle coat has had more wear so far this winter than during the previous three.  Easily, one of my best Ebay finds.  And inexpensive too.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

And here is photograph taken from our front walk through part of our wold.


This is the direction from which the school bus approaches each morning.






And, of course, our woods out the back, hence my rather grandiose borrowing of Wodehouse's Totleigh-in-the-Wold.  Look closely, and you'll notice deer tracks everywhere.  I've only actually spotted two of them in the last month, but Bambi and his cohorts are clearly walking all around the house at night based on all of the new tracks we spot in the snow each morning.


Indoors, something medicinal.  I finally tracked down and retrieved the handmade crystal scotch decanter and glasses to which I treated myself before Christmas.  Due to my oversight, they were sent to our former temporary address that we left in mid-December when we moved into Totleigh-in-the Wold.  Luckily, the ladies in the rental office there set this aside and hung onto it until I called last Tuesday inquiring after it.  For the time being, the decanter contains some 10-year old Laphroig, but once that's gone I'll spring for something older.  The Grand Duchess and I are also sipping our way through a bottle of Aberlour single malt that she gave me for Christmas.

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