Tiddler and I have been doing a bit of mud wading this morning, as we checked in on the tree planting team at the large site we are working on clearing and replanting. The glorious (managed) gorse fires there of the autumn have been replaced in a winter sludge and it has been some weeks since we braved the weather and the mire. The hardy workers though were willing to share their builder’s tea (for the non-UK readers that means tea so thoroughly brewed your teaspoon will either stand up of its own accord, or possibly just melt) and mince pies with us even though we only turned up just in time for the tea break. There is something about turning your back on the Christmas razzmatazz that is going on seemingly everywhere else on this isle on the last Sunday before the 25th, and instead sharing some open air minimalism for the eyes and a camaraderie hygge instead. Clive is modelling a great beard these days so pretty sure Tiddler figured Santa was doing a bit of wilderness moonlighting anyway, particularly as he gave us an unexpected gift to take away- a bagful of beautifully crunchy crisp bay leaves, and strict instructions on infusing the flavour into bread. The Christmas solstice may traditionally mean bringing the greenery indoors for the winter for the sprits to survive, but the greenery will still be out there, if you step out into it.