1. 'This used to be the carriageway down to the Abbey,' Lou explained as her mother's dogs walked us down a long, straight path through the woods. 'It's haunted. Sometimes you can hear hooves and carriage wheels.'
2. Having Christmas dinner cooked for you. Fenella roasted a chicken and we had roast veggies, carrots, mash, courgettes, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts - which is probably more than I normally eat in a week of suppers. Later, I heated a little brandy in a ladle until it caught light and then poured the blue flames over the Christmas pudding. As I washed up and Fenella hovered anxiously round her best china, Andy suggested conspiratorially to PaulV 'Do you want some ice cream?' I suppose it makes a change from port and cigars.
3. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. I don't think I've mentioned how much I like these subtle and imaginative books. The film is great. It is fantastically gothic and has a squalid, timeless beauty. It's a smashing yarn, too, with plenty of action, inventing, reading and biting.