This is the first time I've tried to write a proper word processed letter, so bear with me. It might seem a little odd to print, but this way you are spared most of the eye-strain of my handwriting.
It occurred to me that there must be many hundreds, well, a couple, or at least somebody who would be interested in what's going on. So you, happy recipient, are going to be brought up to date on the recent happenings throughout the known cosmos in so far as it is affected by Fiona and myself.
Most of you, if not all, will have noticed the news black-out we imposed on the media to stop world wide panic and hysteria when we were married on the 5th . This is why we invited only a select few from the many hundreds who would have given their grandmothers to have been there.
Suffice to say, since most of you were there, that the celebrations went exceedingly well with scarcely a drop of rain while we were outside (my thanks to the small, dedicated group of cloud shifters) and that there were hardly any fatalities. Few, close enough to have heard it, will have been unimpressed by Bill's short speech, and as soon as I can think of a suitably witty answer I shall publish it.
The wedding presents were opened, with squeaks of delight, and have been admired by all, especially the large and generous heaps of folding stuff, which we have decided to spend on an impressive new camera and a dining room carpet (appropriate for our smart new dining room). I would like to draw special attention to all the presents, but that would wear out my typing finger. So I shall restrict myself to a mention of Cindy's framed tapestry, which provoked considerable admiration from all who saw it. I will stand it in our bedroom
After the wedding ceremonies, feasts, parties and dancing (anybody who missed Michael and Jenny's tango will be rending garments and gnashing teeth for the foreseeable future) the house became strangely quiet, this for some half hour, before the whole thing started up again and the 40th birthdays of Ben and Suzi were celebrated. For about 3 days. I myself joined in the spirit of the thing by barbecuing several quite innocent creatures and a few plants, these were almost all eaten with relish (!) and very few people came back to complain. (!!) The neighbors, (mostly invited to the party by a stroke of genius) must have begun to wonder when it would end, but are a tolerant lot, that or very deaf.
At this point Fiona and I had to return to Bonnie Scotland. I noticed, as we left, no reduction in the festivities but said nothing, and we headed north to visit with John and Lillias, Fiona's parents, We stayed for a few hours in Lytham St Annes before continuing northward, pausing only to put on the snow chains.
We found, on return, that the estate had been well managed ,with Katie (the Labrador) and Midge (the Collie) our somewhat decrepit dogs, and Bast the cat, in good health, Bast (named after a particularly amusing Egyptian cat goddess) is reasonably young, but the dogs now wake up surprised to be still alive, although they seem pleased enough about it . All things considered they are doing quite well, Katie is as deaf as a post, this serves her well since she can't hear the expression "Don't eat that. " anymore, not that she took much notice before. She is also rather weak in the back legs, but still enjoys a fairly short and rather slower walk, as long as there is breakfast at the other end. Midge is still completely potty and has added anorexia to her impressive collection of phobias and compulsions. She is getting very thin, as you might expect, but still likes to join us for a walk on whatever planet she is on at the time.
On the building front I've made a start on the conservatory, and hope to have it safe to stand near by the end of summer. Fiona has made considerable progress in the garden, the midges aren't helping, but snow, blazing sunshine, gales, frost and heavy rain keep them back a bit, especially if they happen in that order, as they do most weekends.The pond will get some work soon, I'll have to reshape it a bit as it's too steep at the sides and a bit deep. A pity really, as the wildlife is quite good at tidying up those local children that can't get out again and saves me having to feed it.
We hope to have some kind of party up here for those who couldn't come down south, but with all the things that need doing at the moment we may not even be able to go ourselves, which would take a lot of the fun out of it. Still I'm sure we'll find a way. In fact, when I mentioned that I had a crate of Stella salvaged from the party, several new best friends set up camp in the garden, and I don't think they intend to leave until they've had some.