+ Today has been pretty blissful.
+ More blue skies, more sunshine, a nip in the air.
+ Drove over to Pipany's.
+ Squeals of excitement when I knocked on the door, and this loud voice coming from the smallest person of the house, shouts "Walter's here! Walter's here!" (I think he rates more highly as an interesting guest than me when you're Isabella, age 3).
+ Sat down with a glass of mulled wine.
+ Non-stop chatter and laughter.
+ Remembered the last time we got together (why did we leave it so long?).
+ Ginny, we missed you.
+ Much discussion about blogs and blogland.
+ We all got our knitting out - that's me, Pipany, Davey and Lucy. Enough to form our own knitting group, don't you think?
+ Isabella and Elias dipped in and out, keeping an eye on the proceedings.
+ We sat down to a delicious roast pork with perfect crackling (and everything else that makes up a perfect lunch).
+ We discussed the merits of brussels sprouts.
+ We retired to the sofa and continued knitting and chatting and laughing.
+ The fire crackled and glowed in the background.
+ Davey had to go out for two and a half hours. I said I'd definitely be gone by the time he got back. Not true....I was still firmly planted on the sofa. Who wants to go home when they're having such a wonderful time?
+ Presents were exchanged. Pipany gave me one of her beautiful notebooks. She knows I have an absolute passion for stationery and paper. Even if sometimes I just arrange it all in pretty little still lifes, just so I can admire it.
+ I wasn't as organised as Pipany, but I did make some pinecone firelighters which I scented with clove and sweet orange. Piled up in an old terracotta pot and wrapped with brown paper and string.
+ Eventually, Walter and I left that warm, cosy, welcoming house and drove home.
+ By comparison, my own house was dark and cold, and lacking the laughter, warmth and friendship that that lingers in the air when you've been spending time with friends you really connect with.
+ Thank you, Pipany (and family). It was a great day!