Hello everyone, or should that be anyone? I sometimes wonder if anyone ever reads my ramblings, but then someone mentions something I have written, so encouraging me to continue. It is a bit windy today as Storm Doris gives us a good thrashing but we have escaped the snow and rain so far.

Hello reader and a belated Happy New Year to everyone. It’s been nearly a month since my last missive and January is nearly over. It has been a busy month here at North Bradbury Farm and until last week it was glorious and unseasonably dry. I have been busy outside catching up with most of the work that didn’t get done last year because we thought we were moving.

I would like to start by wishing everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017. What a fabulous time of year, especially for children.

The tree is up in the corner of the sitting room, merrily twinkling away and looking splendidly dazzling with its full set of decorations. Now, I am sure that we always pay extra to get one that ‘doesn’t drop its needles’ !

Tomorrow is Bonfire Night! It’s five-thirty in the evening here and it’s pitch dark outside already. I’ve just brought in a basket of logs to light the fire and soon we will be sitting down in front of the telly. Who needs fireworks, eh?

Well, a week in Cyprus seems like a distant memory now. It has been a somewhat hectic month for a variety of reasons. Leaving the farm to go away usually means doing two weeks work the week before we go and two weeks work the week we get back.

At last, the school holidays have finished and we have both survived! Now don’t get me wrong, we both love what we do in order to scrape a living here at North Bradbury Farm. Obviously we could choose different career paths if necessary so we mustn’t complain.

The Summer Holiday season is continuing apace, despite the unpredictable weather. Our guests have been busy surfing at Saunton beach and building dams in the river Barle on Exmoor. I hate to think how many marsh mallows have been barbecued over the fire-pit and consumed in the tent in our wilderness area.

Two weeks ago the thermometer reached 35 degrees C. Tracey got the bedroom fan out of hibernation and parked it on the windowsill because we could hardly sleep. Libby, the old Border collie, had an emergency trim to prevent her hyperventilating in the midday heat. The animals usually love to bask in the sunshine but most of them admitted defeat in the middle of the day and sought shelter under the trees.

The Summer holiday season is just around the corner and we have lots of old friends coming back to stay at North Bradbury farm and lots of new guests coming for the first time. The weather is glorious again and there are masses of great days out to be enjoyed in and around North Devon.