Our friend Jim has joined us for the day. We picked him up from a hotel in Stansted earlier, a journey which involved driving through a number of floods. I've never seen flooding like it in this part of the world.
I'm beginning to find myself rather preoccupied by all this rain. I mean, what happens if it just keeps raining?
We saw two stags in a field, which was quite a magical encounter. I'm only disappointed that they weren't being pursued by a troop of wallabies. Strange as it may seem, the Hertfordshire/Essex border is known to be the home of a tribe of wild wallabies who escaped from a zoo half a century ago and have happily continued to breed here ever since. They periodically appear... My Mum once did an emergency stop for one!
We took Jim on a walk to the windmill just after the sun set. The sky was a glorious midnight blue with a chink of lighter blue on the horizon scattered with pillars of black clouds which looked like smoke pouring out of a row of chimneys.
As we walked along Newbiggen Street, we were able to peer into all the windows. Mini soap operas seemed to be unfolding in every one. Scores of tables were set up for Christmas meals with green and red napkins. In some windows grandpa was sleeping. In others the kids were sitting in circles receiving their presents. The town smells of woodsmoke. It all felt rather Christmassy.
Now the dreadful Strictly Xmas show is over we can sit down as a family and play some games. Lovely.