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With most of the rest of the country under snow, our little micro-climate had none, and was just minus two degrees when Jackie drove me out to the forest this morning.
Around Wootton and Wilverley Plain, the terrain and its pools felt freezing frosty fingers;
frigid ferns flickered;
fallen leaves lit and unlit lay lambent or shaded.
Trees, bracken, and lichen brightened as the sun rose above larger arboreal screens.
Dog walkers strode across the plain.
Steam spiralled from nostrils of cattle and ponies.
A fret saw had been applied to the small patches of frozen water scattered among layers of leaves and pebbles, producing delicate ice art.
The way we live now means that friends and relatives dropping in on spec is largely a thing of the past. That our niece, Danni does this periodically is therefore doubly pleasurable, because she is, of course, delightful company, and knows a thing or two about the use of computers.
We enjoyed convivial company for an hour or two and she was able to confirm that I wasn’t doing anything wrong in trying to search out receipt of a recorded delivery letter I had sent to a partner of O’Neill Patient, the solicitors who had provided such appalling service over the remortgage. Almost a month after sending the letter I had received no reply, so, this morning sent a rather shirty e-mail. The response was that they had never received the letter.
After spending the best part of half an hour on the phone to Royal Mail, I learned that the letter had never been delivered, and had neither been kept by them nor returned to me. Apologies were profuse. I then sent another e-mail apologising for the tone of my first, sending a copy of the letter, and stating that, when the recipient had read it, he would understand why I had assumed that it had been received but not reached his desk.
Later this afternoon I collected the currency from the bank and posted it to Australia.
This evening we dined on Jackie’s famed chicken jalfrezi and pilau rice. My wife drank Hoegaarden and I drank Mendoza Parra Alta Malbec 2016.