Happy New Year! We just got back from England.
Eleven of us gathered at my in-laws' house in Goring-on-Thames to celebrate a green Christmas. After all the rain and flooding, it felt more like Thames-on-Goring. Luckily it dried up somewhat over the week.
Last weekend, we headed to Dartmoor in Devon. England is densely cultivated so this 368 square mile wild moor is quite special. It was my first visit to Dartmoor National Park, but it won't be my last.
for a pub lunch
and a walk
on the moors.
Our son (far right),
his first term at
is an eager hiker,
as is his
My daughter led the way to the peak. We could see Bristol Bay glimmering on the horizon.
Ponies and sheep grazed in the open moors. Without a local guide, it would be easy to get lost.
Henry had been at Oxford University with Roddy, who now works in Devon as an ER doctor.
Roddy lives with his family in the house that was once his grandmother's. Henry's grandparents lived in Devon too, but on the coast. We love the West Country. A house party of old friends felt very P. G. Wodehouse, except we changed out of our hiking clothes into thick sweaters and jeans instead of dinner jackets and evening gowns. Roddy's wife prepared a delicious stew. As the candles burnt low, Roddy stuck new ones on the flaming stubs. We stayed up past midnight talking, laughing and drinking. Fortunately, nobody needed to drive anywhere.
In the morning I awoke to a light frost,
...followed by rare blue skies on our last day. I already miss England.
Back home in Maine, it was quite a shock to wake up to minus eight Fahrenheit (-22 C),
but now it's warmed up to plus nineteen. Time to hit the ski trails. Enjoy the New Year!