Well, in case you are wondering, it's 7.50pm. New York loiters at 5.50, while Paris (ever the front-runner) ticks over an hour ahead of GMT - that's 9.50pm as I type this.
Courtesy of the eyechild I now have a handy multi-coloured, multi-continental clock over my desk. Alan observes that it looks as if it might have come from the Lehman Brothers 'knock-down' sale. Me? - I suspect it comes from the Lehman Brother's crêche 'clear-out'...but who knows? I love it to pieces. It ticks and reminds me that 'tempus fugit'....must crack on.
I've been indulged and showered with lovely gifts this Christmas - for which many, many thanks to all. I see sybaritic times ahead.
Gifts are easy stuff - time with our visiting sons is precious. There's not enough of it - but maybe sufficient for us all to welcome some more later in the year. (Paxos. Greek time. I am excited already.) And there are days and weekends in between to look forward to of course.
They leave; the trail of damp towels, unmade beds and beer cans in curious places now take on a peculiar charm as the car known as 'the shadow of the beast' heads off up the lane. (I'm sure they all once knew where the towel rail, laundry basket and rubbish bin were.) I am left muttering 'take care', 'drive safely'.....'watch out for....................' and they are gone.
Silence descends and Alan and I settle into our usual routines again. He's doing something mysterious and bendy with wood in his shed. I collect an egg from a hen. The brown dog catches the scent of a burrowing vole in the dingle while the white one frets at the field gate. How ordinary everything is. We're under a heavy grey sky. It didn't seem to get light until just before 8.00am and 4.30pm seems dark enough for a torch. Time seems to stand still.
Come to think of it I'm not even sure what day of the week it is either.