Sunday, December 23, 2012

Oh Christmas Tree...

At last, school has finished for the year. The frantic level of activity which bubbles along from mid-November in the build up to Sinterklas, followed by the ensuing hype for Christmas, leaves both kids and parents feeling a bit strung out by the end of the term, so it was bit of a relief on all sides that we had the final, festive goodbye last Thursday night. The school organized a Christmas dinner, with each class festooned with trees, decorations, and candles. Remember this is the darkest time of the year for us, with the sun disappearing by 4:30 in the afternoon, so with the lights turned off and candles lit in every room it made for a magical atmosphere. Each parent supplied some food and the kids quite frankly stuffed themselves on little bits of this and that.
Carl surprised all of us this year by volunteering to sing in the choir. In the central hall area of the school a small enclosure was created with live sheep, Mary & Joseph and a baby providing a touch of realism (the sheep had the best costumes). Behind that a cute choir of 8 Carl...sang carols to entertain everyone as the food was laid out and people arrived.
Afterwards the parents can back to enjoy mulled wine and more carols outside before we all headed home, to a well deserved two week break. Holger is away for Christmas so it's just the 3 of us again; last year we spent a month in New Zealand/Singapore so avoided the dark days of Christmas altogether. However we'll make our own fun and have plenty of friends and family to spend time with.

Best wishes to all for a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 07, 2012

Snow Dumpling, Icy Muffin

It's started snowing. At first it was just little crispy flakes that floated down only to melt as soon as they hit the ground. Then these were followed by larger fluffy crystals that settled and eventually covered everything in a fragile white blanket that crunched under our feet and stuck to the bunnies tails. This has been replaced by harder flakes, driven by a strong wind blowing in from the polar region, dropping temperatures and preventing any further melt. We've heard predictions of up to 20cm falling but so far it's nowhere near that much. 
The bunnies are making the best of it. Actually I don't think Dumpling knows what to make of it...he has only seen snow once before and seems to hate the feel of it clinging to his furry feet. He's sitting now in the garden, a puffed-up ball of disgruntled hair, looking for all the world like a grizzled cossack camping on the Siberian steppes.

Punky Muffin on the other hand is an old hand at dealing with snow, and having shorter hair doesn't become caked as much. You can see her here, fussily licking off the last few flakes that were impudent enough to land on her pristine white coat. How dare they.
As you can see I've put a range of snacks in the winter pavillion to keep them happy and dry but at the moment they prefer to sit in the snow and munch on a big branch I sawed off the apple tree this morning (I hold off pruning my apple trees until the winter to keep the bunnies in snacks throughout the long cold months...a bit unconventional but it doesn't seem to do the trees any harm).
They could always retreat to their hutch which is now winterised with perspex sheeting on all sides and a thick warm layer of soft bedding in which they have hollowed out a snug nest. However that would be like kids volunteering going to bed early and is NOT going to happen. Ever. So don't even suggest it. Just keep feeding us snacks.