We have just waved goodbye to our girls, who are off to welcome the New Year with friends in furthest Worcestershire. So, the house is once more empty, and we reflect on another year in which we have failed to move from too large a home.
But six bedrooms have their uses when there are family weddings to celebrate, as in May/June. Running from room to room through icy corridors - as we have been lately - causes us to remember the light, warm days of Spring, Summer and Autumn more appreciatively. Then, it's a beautiful place to be living - with the garden making several extra large rooms, where we often eat out breakfast, lunch, tea and supper - sometimes all four. Friends from London refer to coming to see us in the country, and indeed we can see the Cotswolds from our windows, barely a mile away.
Travelling for a fortnight through Liverpool, Manchester, Lancaster and Carlisle to Edinburgh in May, and back through Berwick, Durham, York, Nottingham and Northampton made me realise what a rich quality of life we have in Cheltenham. Spending time in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Yokahama in October reinforced that conviction.