Sunday, December 1, 2013


It's the end of a very pleasant holiday weekend. Our friends, Pat and Jo, arrived from New York State on Friday. I struck up a friendship with Pat at my very first conference in the US, in Ann Arbor in 2005. Two years later we met his lovely wife, Jo, when they came to visit us in Michigan.


The thing about real friendships is that the years just melt away when you meet again. We're probably all a little greyer, and the girls of course are considerably more rambunctious, but it doesn't matter at all: you just pick up where you left off.

Saturday was freezing cold, but Pat and Jo gamely rugged up and followed the crazy kiwis out into the snowy countryside. Stowe was as beautiful as ever.

Grandma, your favourite bear is dressed up for the season!
 But, as the expressions on this photo suggest, it was rather chilly to stand still for posed photographs!

"Hurry up and take the photograph before we freeze!!!"
We headed out to the cemetery at Barre - which seemed especially mysterious in the snow.

We drove home over the mountain, to our favourite cafe in Bristol for hot chocolate and apple cider. The trees were covered in snow, and we glimpsed frozen rivers and lakes iced over and covered in snow.

We also introduced our friends to Vermont traditions - maple sausages - and kiwi traditions - pavlova - and they even survived the girls' questions game ("if you were a unicorn, what would your name be?") over dinner. We waved them off on Sunday morning as they headed for Saratoga to visit family, and then took the long drive back to Rochester.

In other news from the weekend: we have a new bird in the garden:

A red bellied woodpecker, I think

The lake began to ice over


The girls continue to see walks as photo opportunities:


And I acquire a Vermont hat.

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