Just a line of greeting to you all for Noël – amongst your white mountains which at the moment fill us with a rather wistful envy. For “the British Isles in the grip of winter” for once includes the Duchy, making it to be no longer Cornwall but Labrador – if in Labrador the wind yells forever from the east. We have been sick with cold. Fire smoking in clouds unless the door, & back window are open to keep it in order. Today we’ve put it out
& got in the oil cooker from the kitchen & sworn not to open a single window until the wind goes down.
Impossible to get up to the village without super-coats, which one never needs here. So antique Christmas greeting cards are missing this year. I’ll try for some sound specimens for new year.
Last night we thought our roof was yielding to the gale. There was a bang-crash-crash-bang Bump. Dressed up & opened a door to investigate. A heavy zinc pail that stands in the shelter of our rain barrel had soared
up over the roof – which is of galvanised metal – & bumped its way down on the other side of the house. The incessant noise becomes demoralising & I wonder that all old time sailors were not steady drinkers. We, anyway, are launching into a doz. of local beer for Christmas.
We shall drink all your healths, & the health of Close Up & all its Contributors present & future, its agent, printer, paper, ink. And we shall think of you going about in Montreux, going into the green little clean little smokeless little cinemas.
There is a weird little birdcage affair sitting on one of the many pipes of our mysterious water-system. What its use is I cannot tell. Perpetually it blows off & the poor elephant has to replace it. Talking of the elephant, we were rather charmed a while back to get a letter from the editor of the Studio very solemnly apologising for past neglect – Today comes a copy of the January number with an excellent article – illustrated. The best we’ve had to date, really handling the work the right way up.
[Alan Odle's drawing]
Goodwill, but not too much peace.