(dawn on mead mountain)

To say this was the most exciting Christmas morning I’ve had since I was around six years old is no exaggeration. We arose at first light and walked all the way across Edinburgh — to ascend Mead Mountain. The streets were quiet, the air was still, and the whole city felt hushed with anticipation. After reaching the summit, we located where we had buried our treat with no problems, and Tom began to dig. There was a brief worried moment when we wondered whether the mead would actually still be there but then, as Tom dug just a little deeper, we uncovered the lovely bottle, still safe in the ground. BINGO!


We cleaned that baby up and then . . .


. . . it was time to taste it!


This picture cannot suggest to you just how bloody good the mead is. This is the first time we’d tasted it, and we were both seriously impressed. This stuff is not sweet or syrupy or any of the things you imagine mead to be. It is dry, fizzy, and fragrant. Containing raspberries, ginger, and lemongrass, it tastes like a sort of light botanical champagne! We really, really enjoyed it.

Now, you’d think things couldn’t get much better than a belly full of home-brewed mead and a heart full of seasonal good cheer — but then they did!


The Mule recently bought Tom some floating balloon-lanterns for his birthday. It being an unusually still and mild morning, we decided to fire one up. We lit the wick, the thing expanded rapidly and then it went . . .
UP . . .


Up . . .

. . . and away!


It was a truly beautiful sight to see our wee balloon floating gracefully high above the city.


For a while, we thought it might make it all the way across to Fife!

(crappy digital zoom)

But then we saw that the flame had gone out, and the balloon started to descend somewhere over Leith. Perhaps it was trying to get home. So we followed it back on foot, to see if we could find it. We didn’t, unfortunately, but as these balloons are flimsy, and biodegradable tissue paper things, I don’t feel too bad about it.
Thanks for the lanterns, Mule!

I’m going to take a break now until after the New Year, and I wanted to thank all of you who have stopped by during 2008. I always enjoy your comments, and have been blown away by the debates, exchanges and, in some instances, friendships, that have arisen from conversations here. I also particularly want to thank those of you who sent us messages of support after Belle’s death and Tom’s accident — it really meant a lot to us. Seasonal joy to you all. And a very happy new year.