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The house that keeps on giving

It was a short weekend...I was in California on Friday so we didn't get to the house until Saturday morning.  The weather had been bitterly cold for the whole week - between 10 degrees and 20 degrees F.   We knew the ice would be thick on the pond and we'd invited Vanessa and Chris to come ice skating with the Jake and Tabitha.

A bit of quick shopping -  the ingredients for full English breakfast and a roast leg of lamb with all the trimmings.

We started off by clearing a small part of the pond.  Just a square in front of the Peninsula.    The snow was light and powdery so made wonderful lines as I ploughed....Looked like the start of a long night at Studio 54.

White Lines

The ice was very solid and I cleared relatively quickly.  By the time the guests arrived the ice rink was ready.     Tabitha was still in her pyjamas but that didn't seem to stop her.   The sun was absolutely gorgeous and the fire pit was raging so it was easy to warm up.    Jake did not have skates but a "summer floatie" tied to a rope provided the perfect sledge.  I pulled Jake (will pay for that later!) and spun him round to the point where he nearly fell off.

Vanessa and Tabitha
Tabitha opens the ice rink
Jake "Will you pull me one more time?"
As the day went on, we slowly cleared different sections of the pond.   First the bit in front of the house, then all the way along past the willows and to the other "pond area".  It was a huge space...Fantastic skating.

Tabitha, quite early in the day, mentioned that she wanted to go night skating.  We, of course, told her that was silly, dangerous and was never going to happen.   I guess that was before a belly full of roast lamb and more than a few Whisky Mac's.    That evening the moon was enormous.  I noticed it through the window.   It looked as if someone had left a flood light on.   The kids had gone to bed and I suggested we go and enjoy the moonlight.   We lit the fire pit again and sat down on the peninsula by the fire, with skates at the ready.  Vanessa and I skated in the bright light of the full moon.

About an hour in we heard a rustling in the bushes and all of a sudden there was Tabitha, dressed and ready for skating.  (Well, still in Pyjamas but that is skating apparel at DeJoux!). Tabitha put on the skates and was away.   Skating in the moonlight.   Awesome.

A little later we heard more rustling and there was Jake...no jacket, no shoes...practically jumped out of bed and ran through the snow to join us.  Must have been freezing but it was a very special night.

Not necessarily proud of this picture but it does
sort of capture the moment!
The next morning many of the adults were regretting the exuberance.  The kids started skating at about 8.30am.   We cooked a full English breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausages, tomatoes and toast.

More skating after I'd made a shepherds pie from the left over lamb and re-heated the Macaroni and cheese.  Daniel put the stereo down by the fire pit and we had 70's disco blaring over the ice...Vanessa summed it up when she said "I think 70's disco skating is my favorite"...she then qualified this thought with another...."No, 70's moonlight disco skating would be my favorite!"....Next time!

At about noon Derek, Nate , Bonnie and Bella arrived.  They brought cheese and hot chili jam crostini and a kale and citrus salad. Perfect accompaniment to the Shepherds Pie.   Nate was a skating wiz but for him DeJoux offered a number of firsts.  First time skating on a pond.  First time skating with a drink in his hand.  First time skating with a baby on board.  First time sitting on chairs on the ice.   (He didn't mention it but I also suspect it was the first time he'd skated to 70's disco in the sunshine!)...oh what a sheltered life he's lived.

Nate the Skate...Here with Guiness, sunshine...
....and 70's disco
There are more photos of Derek, Bonnie, Nate and baby Bella to follow but they are on my camera and I don't have access to them right now as I sit on the bus Manhattan bound. 

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DeJoux House to be published

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Paradox farm

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The story of three Marias

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