Isn’t it amazing the odd little things that happen and give you a boost? We’re all feeling run down after le grand froid and so far the thaw is dispiriting. The farm is slowly turning to mush. However, the animals have cheered up immensely. The llamas have condescended to go out into their field at long last, and the chickens and turkeys have begun pottering around again. They’ve been lying low in the sheep stable up till now.

Anyway, we were doing the rounds of the farm, squelching through the slushy snow down to the big lake, when Rors spotted something bobbing around in the llama field. I went over to investigate. It was an orange, helium-filled balloon dancing on its string. And at the end, on a piece of maroon ribbon, was this:

(Wishing you a year of happiness and good luck. Carlos.)

It was like getting a hug from a total stranger! Thank you Carlos, and the same to you, wherever you are. Your good wishes and little surprise lifted our spirits and gave us something to smile about today.

The balloon has deflated after being boisterously played with by Rors but I shall remember it for a long time.

Before Rors got to it!