I moved to the country at Easter and have been planning Christmas ever since. Our house is groaning with home-cooked food, beautifully wrapped presents and table decorations that I’ve made with a hot glue gun. I love hot glue and want to glue everything to anything — apples, ribbons, small animals; nothing is safe. I may have to start sniffing the stuff, such is my excitement at discovering how uncannily similar to Martha Stewart I have become since becoming a Country Mouse. My half-Indian husband only pretends to get it; I know he’d much rather eat lobster on a beach than one of the 200 mince pies that are nestling between layers of greaseproof paper in my freezer. He’s awfully loyal, though, and I pretend I don’t notice that he sneaks a great dollop of chilli sauce on to everything I lovingly cook for him.
I’m a bit nervous that no one is going to give me what I want for Christmas. I long for two things: a beehive with a sexy little colony of honey bees and an African Grey Parrot. I bought an excellent book, Beekeeping for Smallholders, at the Highgrove shop in Tetbury, which I’ve read cover to cover, and have ordered a bee-keeping suit, with veil, online. I’ve left the book out in strategic places and have sighed loudly and wistfully every time my eyes have rested upon it, so I’m hoping against hope that my husband will come up trumps. I have laid siege elsewhere for the birdie.
I am blessed with having the best ex anyone could ever have; my gorgeous, my angelic, my long-suffering Hugh. When we were together I wasn’t allowed pets as he never forgave me for giving away Emma, a lop-eared dwarf rabbit that I had desperately wanted.