The festive season is upon us and we even have the festive weather this year! Snow has fallen twice on Cornwall in the past month and settled – almost unheard of! The low temperatures have meant that the snow is still on the ground and with clear skies, it freezes every night and gives us black ice to contend with. However, we have not suffered at all compared to many of you ‘up country’ folk with massive snow falls, drifts and ensuing transport disruption.

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It has meant that several of our customers have had to cancel their Christmas break as they are snow bound, not even able to get the car off the drive. One gentleman from Birmingham just called to say that all the shops in walking distance of his house had run low on many supplies, with people stockpiling food. One thing I have noticed here is the garages running out of fuel as the tankers have not been able to make it through the worst hit areas of Devon to get here – it does make you realise how dependent we are on external supplies for the most basic of needs. Who has a vegetable garden these days – or access to a local farmer to buy milk and eggs?

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We are very busy with our new eco house. It is to be called Lowen – Cornish for happy and abbreviation of Low Energy! I am updating news on the build as it is so pioneering in its concepts of heating from the ground and generating electricity and hot water from the sun, that people are very interested in following its progress. If you go to www.bosinver.co.uk and click on latest news, top right hand side of the home page, you can see what we’re up to. Hopefully it will be ready for occupation from next Whitsun but as the build is new in almost every direction, Dave and I are reluctant to advertise it and take bookings until we are sure of a finish date! Anybody who wants to give it a try for a holiday, or even come and help us or watch the progress, please keep an eye on the website and when I am confident I will show it available for letting.

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In the same vein but in a different area of the site, we have installed a solar panel to generate light for our road sign. Visitors had mentioned it being difficult to see in the dark but it was too far to run a cable from our power supply, so solar panels seemed the answer. It was installed last month and is working happily and costing nothing!

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Last week I was walking in NT Trelissick Garden on a frosty evening, the light was beautiful, so I took some wintry looking photos. At the water’s edge I discovered a most beautiful wooden sculpture of a mackerel – it was so lovingly crafted that I spent 10 minutes just sitting on it and stroking the wood. A little plaque mentioned that it was a memorial to a much loved daughter and commisioned and placed there by her parents. The artist is a local guy – Reece Ingram and he has a real talent, he’s done work at the Eden Project and often works with schoolchildren on educational projects – I just love seeing art in natural surroundings – you can read more about him at www.reeceingram.co.uk

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Farmer Dave in the snowFarmer Dave is increasing his followers on his facebook site- he is such a popular man with over 100 fans now. Our cresshead competition was won by ‘Secret’s biggest fan’ Sophie and her prize will be winging its way to Ireland after Christmas. Keep an eye on his facebook pagehttp://www.facebook.com/bosinverfarmerd to find out just what he’s up to around the farm. He had to mend the fence at Trerose cottage and here he is with a beaming smile as always, in the freezing cold, happy just being busy!

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Our son Mark and family moved down from Brighton last September and he is working for us Project Managing the ecobuild. It is marvellous having the family so close, especially the grandchildren. I am very much enjoying being a hands on Granny and volunteering for babysitting at every opportunity. It must be amazing to have grandparents who own a place like Bosinver with all the activiies here and the animals freely available for them at any time – grandchild heaven!

Here’s Wilf with a little friend taking a break from chasing the cockerel, who is seeking revenge by stealing their biscuits and grandaughter Megan who just loves Rupert the pony. We are very much looking forward to our family Christmas and we wish you all glad tidings and happy times with your family – if you can reach them!

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Hope to see some of you her in 2011.

Pat and Dave

PS The postman has just arrived with Secret’s Christmas apple. Pippa Lockhart sends him an apple every year and he is delighted. I will upload a photo of him eating it on the next blog