But while my daughter is huddling indoors hiding from the lost Arctic blasts sweeping through Wisconsin, I'm sitting in my living room with the doors open to my garden. The clouds are gathering against the hills on the other side of the Nile so the domes on the evil dog kennel next door to my horses are picked out by sunlight and gleaming against the dark grey. The dogs there, happily, seem to be quiet and content for a change and the noisiest thing in the garden is Koko, our rescue Amazon whose father must have been a peacock to judge from the melody and volume of his calls. Pretty bird who sounds like the worst rusty gate in the world. The advantage of being closer to the equator in all of this climate change muddle seems to be that things don't change that much here along the earth's waistline, although the summers are longer and a bit hotter than before. I think that I will be able to cope with climate change for a while more, even with my not liking air conditioning. That is a point on the good side while looking at the coming year.
We have been very busy at the farm this winter with more families coming out to relax in the gardens, more local people coming to ride in the countryside, and more schools coming to do classes for children about nature, farming, animals and so on. While busy can be tiring, it is good for my staff and for the budget. I'm not seeing immediate signs of issues that will be causing problems for us in the new year, but then, on the other hand, who really knows? One of the things that I see my friends in North America learning these days with the strange one running the show there, is our wait-and-see attitude about the future. We are used to being surprised by our leaders but this is a new experience for people who have been lucky to have more stable individuals before.
copyright 2017 Maryanne Stroud Gabbani