The days are now very short and the weather sometimes saps even my optimism. Looking out today at the thick clouds, the driving rain is coming in at an angle that ensures it finds its way into the corners of collars you were convinced were warm and dry despite best efforts to dress for the weather. John Gundill, our incorrigible castle manager, has for years arrived at work with a well-stocked car boot complete with spare waterproofs, jackets and socks, wellies, a spade and a hammer. In fact, all the necessary items for several changes of clothes and a job that can involve lifting drain plates or freeing pipes. He also has his own drying system hidden by the castle boiler with a washing line strung up ready and waiting.
The weather impacts every day. What we wear, what tasks we choose to do or put off, what we should do to anticipate its effects and what we can create given its vagaries. Everyone here has their favourite weather stations and we all tend to cherry pick through them to find the most optimistic one, apart from John who likes to plan for the worst.
As in all things, planning and preparing, double checking and then going over it again means that whilst challenges will still arise, you should be able to deal with them. Highclere does present novel tests where we have to think outside the box, much of it is derived from the weather, the size of the building and the natural course of events which can happen on an estate like this. Yet we cannot see the wind and cannot always read the skies.
The comfort is that, in many ways it has all happened before and there is a season to everything. At the same time, it is worth noting the natural lore in which our predecessors were well versed. “The sharper the blast the sooner it will pass” may well have some truth as, for example, a storm builds stronger and moves faster than a steady rain shower which often seems to hang around for ages. This is a more useful saying at this time of year whereas “red sky at night shepherds delight, red sky in the morning shepherds warning” is one to go with in summer months.
Nanny always goes by whether her knee is aching to predict bad weather which may or may not have something to do with changes in barometric pressure or simply too much gin. Equally doors can be stickier in damp weather. Recently it has been wet first thing in the morning – my cue to have another cup of tea in bed – before improving later: “Rain before seven, clear before eleven.”
In spring time, I find myself most anxious to keep checking:
“Ash before Oak
You are in for a soak
Oak before ash
You are in for a splash”
Sadly, these days the first thing you have to do is find an Ash tree as they have been the subject of a terrible disease here in the UK. Luckily, we do still have some healthy ones here and last year the oaks did bud first. Is it superstition or useful pointers? As with so many things sometimes there is a grain of science in such sayings and some are merely superstitions. I’m not sure, for example, whether I would set much store by the advice to be wary of full moons which bring chaos or to ensure continued good looks by carrying an acorn with me at all times.
There are many traditions and superstitions associated with the New Year and perhaps this New Year above all others we should plan to try to welcome 2021 in as propitiously as possible. Firstly, plan ahead and make sure your pre–New Year’s Eve shop includes a bunch of grapes, some herrings, a lump of coal, some bread and some whiskey, whilst ensuring that you still have some loose change as you will need a coin. In addition, those living in Denmark should save up some old plates to throw at their friends’ and family’s houses to wish the recipients good luck in the year to come.
On the day itself, just before midnight, you must open both the front and back doors in order to welcome the new year in and let the old year out and kiss someone you love as the clock strikes midnight, pausing only to check the latest Covid guidelines of course. This will ensure that the love continues for the next 12 months.
Then you could follow the Spanish suggestion and eat 12 grapes at midnight—one for every month of the coming year, remembering not to cry as that would set a bad precedent. Also make a loud noise at midnight, fireworks are a good idea, as apparently this will scare away evil spirits and bad omens, but again, this year, your options may be limited to a couple of fizzy fireworks in a garden
Moving on, pause briefly to eat some herring, either pickled or fresh, to bring good luck according to the Germans and Scandinavians. However, please be very careful not to eat chicken as that will make your luck fly away.
In fact, it’s going to be an extraordinarily busy midnight as, in Yorkshire tradition just before the clock strikes you should say “black rabbits, black rabbits, black rabbits”, and then, as the it chimes 12, say “white rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits”, presumably either side of eating the grapes and herring. John our Castle Manager is from Yorkshire so may be busy trying to say rabbit with his family in unison whilst drinking whiskey and opening doors…..
In Scotland, Hogmanay is a much-loved celebration with its own superstition of “first-footing”. The first person to enter a household in the New Year is considered to foretell its fortunes so a bit of forward planning is vital here. A “lucky” first-footer is a dark-haired male who arrives bearing a coin, lump of coal, piece of bread and a drink ie whisky, symbolising financial prosperity, warmth, food and good cheer. No blondes allowed.
In the end, of all the qualities to treasure, one of the most important is hope. It is an extraordinary facet of human beings that there is a remarkable optimism amongst most people, whatever is thrown at us:
“No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again.” Buddha
If T S Eliot is most famous for poems such the Wasteland which is certainly one aspect of this last year, he also is the author of the belief that:
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice”
May I take this opportunity to wish you a very happy and safe New Year from all of us at Highclere and best wishes for 2021.
Lady Carnarvon, I wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year. May love, peace and joy surround you all. With my Best Wishes, Cheryl
I wish your family and yourself, all the staff New Year, let’s hope 2021 is a great year
Professor James Knight
A happy and healthy new year to you and your family!
I love the photo of Highclere silhouetted against that thunderous background (not sure what that says about me), miss that type of weather (other than our hurricanes here in Florida). Wishing you, your family and staff a much better, easier 2021.
Dear Lady Carnarvon, I probably do not say it enough but your newsletters are always a delight to receive & this one is exceptional! With living in Harrogate & being a Yorkshire girl, I’ll follow John’s ‘White Rabbits’ Yorkshire New Year tradition, though I’m tickled by the Denmark plate throwing!
May I wish you, your family, & All the Staff A Happy New Year!!!
I would try it all if I were you!!!
Thank you, Lady Carnarvon, for sharing this wonderful traditions and lore. We shall have a busy New Year Eve, indeed! Let me add to the lucky feasting suggestions: black-eyed peas on January 1. Wishing you all good things, bright and merry, healthy, happy and prosperous in all that you do. From St Joseph, Missouri – Lori McAlister
MY DEAR LADY CARNARVON ,
GOOD EVENING, MILADY AND MONDAY FAMILY,
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM BRAZIL,HEALTH AND PEACE OF MIND FOR ALL. IT’S RAINING DAY 29°CELSIUS IN RIO CLARO SP.
RIO CLARO – SP
PS I WATCHED THE AUGUST HIGHCLERE CASTLE GIN VIDEO, IT WAS A GLORIOSUS AFTERNOON BY ENGHISH STANDARDS AND BUTLER LUIS COELHO HAD MADE LORD CARNARVON A “CAIPIRINHA” I WAS HAPPY TO HEAR MY COUNTRY NAMES BEING MENTIONED BY THE LORD. RIO CLARO -SP-MY CITY, IS SURROUND BY SUGAR CANE FIELDS WHERE IS EXTRAORDINARY AND SUGAR CANE SPIRIT IS DISTILLED .BUTLER LUIS COELHO TAUGHT THE WHOLE PROCESS OF THE APERITIF MADE WITH CANE SPIRIT “CAIPIRINHA”,LEMON CLOVE WICH IS ORANGE AND VERY FRAGANT, SUGAR AND CANE SPIRIT. IN MY CITY RIO CLARO THERE IS THE BRANDS OF “AGUARDENTE ” YOURS NAMES:” VELHO BARREIRO” , ” 51 “,YPIOCA”. THANK YOU VERY MUCH BUTLER LUIS COELHO FOR REMENBERING THIS LOVELY APPETIZER.
Happy New Year and thank you
Best wishes to you Lady Carnarvon, and your family, for a happy and prosperous New Year.
I have enjoyed your posts and books over the past year, and am currently enjoying your new Xmas book too.
You are a great and gifted writer !
Isle of Man.
I am going to do ALL of these things ensure a better 2021!!! Well, maybe NOT the herring…
I quite like herring!
Thank you for sharing all these delightful traditions.
It is our prayer that 2021 will be filles with joy and hope.
Happy New Year to you and all at Highclere.
May God bless you and your family.
Thank you and God’s blessings on all families – it is his world not ours
Good Morning Dear Lady,
No matter how you show the Abbey, it is always breath takingly BEAUTIFUL!!
It is nice to see you out walking the family, and experiencing Mother Nature at her finest, so early in the sunrise of your day.
Have a GREAT DAY,
LOVE Talking to you,
John L. Roberts
Amherst, N.Y. U.S.A
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Lady Carnarvon, Wishing you and your family a Blessed Happy New Year!! Always enjoy reading your posts. So enjoyed our visit a few years ago to Highclere!!
May you & yours have a happy & blessed New Year!
North Carolina, USA
Lady Carnavron, I enjoyed reading your blog. Thank you for your lovely information! And I wish you many blessings during the coming year at Highclere!
My dear Lady Carnarvon, I send heartfelt warm wishes for a safe & successful 2021 for all of you @ beautiful Highclere, & I hope to visit you again in the New Year, yours sincerely,
This last year was extra-ordinary we hope!
Happy New Year, and thank you for an interesting article.
Thank you once again for making Monday stand out. I look forward with you to 2021! Health and happiness to all. XOX from snowy cold Canada.
No snow at Highclere yet!
Happy New Year!!! Here in Georgia, we will be eating blackened peas for good luck and collards for money, while burning a green candle! How ever we all celebrate, I hope it works!!! Here’s to a great 2021!
Dear Lady Carnarvon!
Always interesting to read your newsletter and lovely to see the Castle pictured in so many ways!
I wish you all a Happy and Blessed New Year and yes – wonderful to be under protection of our Lord.
On television, there is every year a tradition in Sweden that Lord Tennyson’s poem Ring Wild Bells is read by some wellknown artist at 12 o’clock pm. I look forward to that!
Excellent another one to add in!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Yes, we are all holding hope for the future. Peace and Good Health in 2021 to you and your family. Rain or shine, we must soldier on, and I look forward to returning to Highclere in the not-too-distant future.
Charlotte Merriam Cole
We look forward to seeing visitors.
Enjoyed every bit of your blog. Here in Oradell, N. J., it is so very cold,dark and so dreary that it is hard to have a positive outlook on 2021. Just love all the little traditions you mentioned – open front door and back door to bring in a bright New Year. Love the “acorn” for good luck. Am going outside to steal one from a squirrel. Plus all the other “must do’s” to make 2021 brighter, happier and more healthy.
May the New Year be an especially wonderful, happy one for you and your family. So look forwsrd to each week’s writing. I live alone – my daughter in Australia and my son in Indiana. It can get soooo depressing over the dark dark winter. And when “gloom” sets in – I will reread your blog.
Love to all,
Barbara Ann Dabrowski
Do you follow the Instagram? That has more stories on it too…@highclere_castle
Happy New Year!!!!!!!
Happy New Year to you!
Thank goodness we are at long last retired, apart from dog walks we stay under the duvet till spring arrives.
Happy new year everybody.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
and all the Monday Club,
wishing everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Thank you Lady Carnarvon for bringing us together, reminding us of our history and giving us hope for the future. A very big CHEERS! (with Highclere gin of course!) to you all!
thank you I feel proud of all that we have to promote the gin too!
Thank you for always providing your reader such an intimate and inspiring view of life at Highclere! We were so happy to visit your beautiful home in 2013 and we enjoy staying in touch through your writings. Wishing you the very best in the coming year. Happy New Year to you and yours!
Happy new year ! I look forward to more stories in 2021.
Greetings to you dear Lady Carnarvon, from a snowy Switzerland!
Every good wish to you and your family and all the Monday readers for a happy, healthy and peaceful 2021.
We‘ve just ventured out into the winter wonderland outdoors for a snowy walk and are now cosily back in our living room, warching the snowflakes flutter down outside and ready to plunge into the beautiful world of Downton Abbey again, which we‘ve been watching ( for not the first time!) during the past few days. You have such a gorgeous home!
Thank you for your writing and pictures and all the inspiration!
We all learn something interesting in each blog post, so thanks for that. Acorns…guess I would need too many to carry!
Not at all!
Lady Carnarvon,Happy New Year!Special thank you for your beautiful photos,as an artist I always enjoying them very much.With love and warm wishes from USA,Margaryta Yermolayeva.
Thank you for sunshine on an overcast day in Roanoke, Indiana. I never mind a day like this as it makes for perfect reading weather allowing extra time for another cup of tea or coffee. Blessings on a new year of sweet hope!
Here in the southern USA you must eat black-eyed peas, hog jowl, and greens for luck in the coming year. I’d venture to say the grocery stores here will be sold out of these this year!
I must add those in next year!
Thank you for another year of beauty in words and images. Happy New Year and may you open your doors soon to everyone.
Sincerely, Cathy Kawalek (now in North Carolina!)
Hmm, wellies-in-the-boot? or (translated into the language of the colonies:) boots-in-the-trunk?
No throwing of old plates in Greece , (at least not for the New Year), we toss pomegranates from the balcony hoping they smash and the seeds splash forth bringing good luck and prosperity for all throughout the New Year. May the New Year 2021 bring much happiness and good health to all at Highclere and perhaps some sunshine Spring/Summer visits to the castle, too!
I am not sure I can pomegranates in time!!!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Wishing you, your wonderful family, friends and lovely Highclere team a very safe, happy and healthy new year. Many kind thanks for your writings which always enters my heart like beams of warm light.
JoAnne from wintery white Ottawa, Canada
What a delightful post. Thank you so much. Happy New Year to you and yours.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Your Monday pictures and stories have been the brightest of 2020 for me and many others I’m sure. Many blessings for you and your family and staff. Let’s not forget your 4 legged family and may they have good health and long lives. Happy New Years!
Happy New year!
Lady Carnarvon, thank you for the newsletter today; it was a very interesting read. I signed up following the Channel 4 feature on Highclere Castle earlier this month, which my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed. We live in Dorset and plan to visit next year … a long overdue outing.
In the meantime, we wish you and your family a happy, healthy and prosperous 2021.
How kind – thank you. They filmed hours for the documentary and only used a little, but I hope what cam across is that it is a team effort with a cast of eccentrics
Good Post Christmas Monday Morning Lady Carnarvon,
I hope you and your families were able to feel some sense of a Merry Christmas throughout the holiday. Aren’t we all fortunate that we are now finally able to look forward to closing out 2020!
Love all your mentions of New Years Eve European traditions and will pray they certainly work for all of you across the Pond. We as well always open a front and back door (or window depending on our CT or FL weather depending on where we are!) to let out the old and bring in the new. We also keep a Family Memory Box that we begin filling up, each January and continue throughout the year, of small mementos of events we participated in throughout the year then traditionally, after our New Years Eve dinner, empty it out onto a table on and go through it to relive the year behind us. Sadly, this years memory box is nowhere near as full as years past as given the pandemic.
Thank you again for the wonderful photos and Nature Lore tidbits. Your Blog is always a great way to get my week going each Monday morning.
We will be toasting to you and Lord Carnarvon and your family as well as ours this New Years Eve and adding a wish and resolution that when travel safely opens up we will head back to Europe and be certain to make a stop at your wonderful Highclere Castle once again.
Take good care Lady Carnarvon and your Monday blog family as well.
Happy New Year & better year ahead prayers to all.
Lynn thank you and Happy New year to you and yours!
My husband and I enjoy reading your blog each Monday and the beautiful photos. I love the 1st one with all your dogs! From a very foggy morning here in Bellingham, WA – USA we wish you, your family and all the staff at Highclere Castle the most wonderful New Year in 2021!!
Ina Sue & Alan and our old dog Riley
Happy New year to you all!
Hello Lady Carnarvon
If you visited Balmoral and the rain was coming down sideways and a walk was suggested, you would have to join in.
Is your shop open New Years Eve?
Anyway, happy new Financial year etc to all.
Noone has to walk in the rain I would have thought – it is a choice. An online shop is always open!!!
As always, your blog has brightened my day. Here’s to hoping the new year will be better than the one we have just had. May you and your family have a happy new year!
Happy New year to you and your family too
Happy New Year to you & your family & staff at Highclere Castle. I enjoyed your blog about the traditions and superstitions to welcome in the new year. After experiencing a year of the COVID 19 pandemic, I am looking forward to saying goodbye to 2020 and welcoming in 2021 to bring the vaccine to the world and bring health, hope and peace to all! I plan to open my front door and open my back porch door on January 1st. We have never done this before but we will start a new tradition.
I do hope we all open doors!
Hello Lady Carnarvon,
I love this blog!
You really have a way with words.
The images are so clear and clean.
Those grapes looked yummy.
Happy New Year!
Phyllis Simpson, USA
Thank you! Happy New year
It is so nice to receive these blogs every Monday morning, but especially today as we close out a year that everyone will be glad to see in the rear view mirror. Thanks for sharing the various traditions…some I’d heard of, some not, but this year we can’t take any chances! Use them all! I wish you and the Highclere Castle staff every good thing for a 2021 filled with hope and peace.
Thank you again for a cheery and humorous note on cloudy day – but the sun will out soon! In our retirement home, there is only one door to the hallway – so we will open the door to the living room from the bedroom and come back into the bedroom from the bathroom! We all need to be more innovative during these quiet, prayerful times.
Wishes for a healthy, calmer and more just world in 2021, and thanks again for your wonderful posts from my favorite castle!
Excellent plan!! Happy New Year
HAPPY NEW YEAR
Thank you for all the great traditions for the coming of a New Year. Praying that the coming New Year will bring health and happiness to all. We have had a trying year in 2020, making us all more resilient and introspective of our lives. I can only wish for a better New Year. Gods best wishes to all.
Hello Lady Carnarvon
Well Christmas is gone and we are going towards New Year, all of us with optimism and hope for 2021. My hope is that you opened the mystery box under your Christmas Tree letting the wishes of peace on the earth, the elimination of world hunger and safety for our children go free 🙂
My New Years wishes are for beating the Covid Virus and for everyone being able to relax once more, to continue to pray for peace, to look into a sweet childs face and feel joy, to love and enjoy our families and to thank God for all his blessings
Happy New Year to all our Monday Club wherever you are and of course to you and your family Lady Carnarvon.
God willing I will join you again in 2021.
Absolutely – and I imagine most of us will have the front and back doors open!!!
Today’s blog is delightful. May you all have a very Happy and Healthy New Year.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Wishing you and your family and all the staff at Highclere a very Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year!!! I have my bottle of sparkling wine in the fridge for this year. We WILL stay up til midnight to say a huge good bye to 2020 and a huge Hello to 2021!!! Front and back doors will be open and I will be banging a pot with a spoon to make noise!!!!! My mother will have herring for both of us!!
I pray for a healthy & healthy 2021. We hope to get back to England and visit your home for the first time!!!
Happy New Year!!
Bolingbrook IL USA
A very Happy New Year to you
Lady Carnarvon, Wishing you the happiest and healthiest of New Years from the San Francisco Bay Area. I always enjoy reading your blog and the lovely photos you always include in it. My wife and I were planning to visit Highclere this year but of course that didn’t happen, however we remain optimistic for late 2021 which will likely be our next trip to England (where I was born and raised). In the meantime, we would be grateful if you could please send us some of your rain as this winter is looking to be a very dry one!
Glass half full ! I suspect that 4 months time it will look very different
Thank you for another beautifully written post. My wife read her copy of this post to me as I had not yet opened mine. As we have come to expect your discussion educates and causes reflection and an appreciation of the world around us. It would be interesting to know if you can dash off a post at will or whether you have to reflect and do research (like we undoubtedly would have to) before committing pen to paper. The photos add so much to the piece and I know it takes time to weave them into position. Years ago I used to read to my mother from a book (possibly) titled A Victorian Women’s Diary and it causes me to think at some point you could collate your posts and publish them. Your pieces are pretty timeless and would hold up through a generation or two. I know I would be reading your posts to my mother if she was still with us.
Have a blessed New Year
Thank you – each blog takes some work!!! It often starts with a word which is something or a thought and it circulates around my head.
Thank you for another lovely blog, one that, despite the gloomy weather you were encountering, always brightens the start of our week. Before your timely advice today about planning and preparing for 2021 “as propitiously as possible,” I purchased two bottles of Highclere Castle gin that appeared under our Christmas tree, to my husband’s surprise and delight. We look forward to sampling it, and we treasure having met you in 2014, when you visited Colonial Williamsburg, engaged in a delightful conversation with a local historian, and signed copies of your books: “Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey” and “Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey.” All good wishes to you and your family for a happy, peaceful 2021.
Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
Thank you – Williamsburg was amazing to visit – a US treasure. I am glad you are enjoying the gin, a spiritual treasure!
Indeed, time marches on….unfortunately 2020 marched right over most of us and left us flat.
However, we all have high hopes for the new year and we wish you all the very best it will have to offer us.
Another saying, “Hope spring eternal” comes to mind, for we are an optimistic lot after all. I’m looking forward to hanging my coveted 2021 Highclere Castle calendar in a few days. I believe a new beginning is always something to be embraced.
The happiest of New Years to you and all at Highclere Castle!
Oh, by the way, I do enjoy the wonderful photos you publish with your blog. I’d love to know who the photographer is!
Often the photographer is me! Or Paul Mac if he is around – utter chance!
Your beautiful expressed memories and conditions for this time of year have brought back many pleasant thoughts for me too. Recently a small Zoom group here in the Pacific Northwest USA has begun to enjoy our own adventures in “Forrest Bathing”. Soaking up all the ravishing greens of hills and fields and dashing beneath oaks and evergreens to escape a downpour. Then returning, with HOPE for our daily lives in this challenging world of ours. Thanks for sharing your story!
Portland, OR USA
Don’t miss this week’s podcast from Highclere Castle (out on New Year’s Eve). Lord and Lady Carnarvon look ahead, with hope in their hearts, to the plans they have for the ‘real’ Downton Abbey in 2021. You can listen here: https://apple.co/3mS8uaR (make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss future editions)
Best wishes for a happy, safe, and healthy New Year! I hope to visit in August
I sympathize with nanny and her aching knee – I always know when the barometer is dropping because my sinuses react and I get a sinus headache. Here in Whistler in the mountains on the west coast of Canada, with our often wild weather fluctuations, the barometer goes up and down like crazy, so my sinuses and I are never sure what’s coming next. Listen to nanny and I, we are living weather predictors!
Unfortunately here in Kentucky most of our Ash tree suffered the same fate as yours, but from their demise I have a bumper crop of Oyster mushrooms on two stumps close to my house!
Best wishes for 2021!
Wow I love mushrooms..
Wishing you and your family the happiest new year, may 2021 bring you more blessings then you can ever imagine.
Thank you for your hard work in 2020.
Near the finish line,
Dawsonville GA USA
Have a Happy and Healthy New Year. At least let us hope it’s different!!
Stay safe and stay well. We can look at this passing year as another bump in the road.. Just a note, another difference to celebrate, I have only ever heard of, “Red sky at night, sailors delight, Red sky at morning, sailors take warning”….the Shepard one was new to me. I do like the idea of carrying an acorn around all year. That would be nice.
Acorns are rather comforting!!
Dear Lady Carnarvon:
Thank you for your Monday blog. Enjoyed reading it and learning about the new year’s tradition from several other countries. Great introductory picture of you, the dogs, and the Castle; as well as the subsequent photographs.
In Michigan, yesterday’s rain melted the Christmas snow, but new snow and possible ice is expected for New Year’s Eve and Day.
Still undecided as to the evening meal for New Year’s Eve. Our tradition here is to light off fireworks at midnight, open the doors to let the old year out and the new year in, remember Saint Sylvester, and partake in a shot of whiskey in the egg nog. Will save the (Highclere Castle) gin cocktail for New Year’s Day.
Until next week Monday, wishing you, Lord Carnarvon, your family, and staff a Happy New Year.
A very happy New Year
Dear Lady Carnarvon
I watched with much intereset the ‘Christmas at Highclere programme recently, a lot of effort put in and it did indeed look very festive. I am hoping that your family and Highclere Castle have a much better 2021 and that we can all visit once again without restriction. Happy New Year!
Thank you – we all hope the same I think
To add to your collection – Southern people in the US must eat Black Eyed Peas at New Years, for good luck. I’m sorry I don’t know the thought behind it, I’ve always hated BEPs so I never got into it 😉
A safe and happy New Year to you and yours!
Happy New Year to you
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
We wish you, the family, of course the dogs, and everyone at Highclere a 2021 of peace, joy, health, good luck and fun! We cannot wait to visit Highclere again as we did in 2019. Thank you for all the wonderful blog entries…they have sustained us in a dark time. (I also just re-read “Almina” for the 3rd time and was inspired anew!)
We will follow all the good luck advice we can find right now and look forward to the new year with hope and faith.
Thank you for all you do and hope to see you again in 2021!
Thank you and out of interest have you read Catherine – the sequel ?
Lady Carnavon – Thank you for all the advice found in New Years sayings. I really enjoyed the different stories. The one I liked the best was opening both the front and back doors to let the new years in and the old one out. We really need to let nasty 2020 become a memory in our rear view mirror. Happy New Year!
Mary Grace Benko
Happy New Year
Lady Carnavon – Thank you for all the advice found in New Years Lore . I really enjoyed the different stories. The one I liked the best was opening both the front and back doors to let the new years in and the old one out. We really need to let nasty 2020 become a memory in our rear view mirror. Happy New Year!
Mary Grace Benko
open those doors!
Here in Western Texas, as in most of the arid West, the purple sage blooms shortly before it rains. Happy New Years to your family..
I love Sage – great herb
“When life throws you a rainy day, play in the puddles.” Winnie the Pooh. We certainly have all had to learn to play in the puddles this year. When I dismissed my students last March 13th, we thought that we would be back in two weeks! This has been a long two weeks! Thank you for your insights and memories. So…who will you be kissing at midnight? 🙂
Lovely quote – luckily Geordie is darkish haired and can arrive with all necessary to bring some luck!!!
A “must to do” at our house is to put a dollar bill under each door mat…ensuring money will come into the house during the year Very Happy New Year wishes to you all at Highclere!
Now that’s another idea
Oh my…so delightful! Thank you and may blessings be in abundance in 2021.
Wishing all a wonderful 2021 and looking forward to reading many more of your posts, Lady Carnarvon.
Please give the pups many New Year’s scritches from me.
Thank you. The pups have had some good walks today! Happy New Year to you
Dear Lady Carnarvron,
Many Happy wishes for a New Year in 2021- May it be Healthy, Prosperous, full of Hope, and Love, and Happiness!
Just to let you know- my Gin arrived on Christmas Eve. via my daughter flying in from L.A.- We have been making Hucklegin cocktails. Highclere Gin (maybe the best we have ever tasted!!) with Huckleberry Liquor- made here in Montana (Coram distillery) near Glacier Park- and a dab of homemade Huckleberry Jam. My new favorite drink!! Ordering more for the rest of the family in California.
It has snowed here in the Flathead-Montana and will snow again this Wednesday.
Please keep warm, safe, and optimistic that we shall all get through this odd time in all of our lives!!
Again, our best to you and your whole crew and family in 2021!
Keep blogging please!
That sounds so wonderful – thank you I think we have 18 gold awards for the gin now.. Cocktails are fun
A very happy New Year to you and your family.
Very Happy New year to you too – thank you
To be fair, it’s John’s job to anticipate the worst! Thank you for your good wishes for the new year, along with the entertaining tips. Goodness… So much to remember! It’s been a year that feels like five. Wishing you and yours a healthy, happy, prosperous 2021. And special thanks for doing whatever was necessary to make your excellent gin available in the US. It delivers as promised and anticipated!
I do agree, but that is a team different people with different strengths working together and John’s close reading and observations, detail and consequential information is there.
Wishing you a very happy Covid19-free New Year.
Also as someone who has worked in an emergency call centre, the full moon does make for a notably busier night.
Thank you for that – we have tiptoed by Covid here…
DEAR LADY CARNARVON:
ALL THE BEST TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY, YOUR LOVELY STAFF WHO ARE FAMILY AS WELL.
TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU, A HAPPY NEW YEAR. ALL THE BEST IN 2021!!!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
2020 is a year we will always remember. We learned much from it and hopefully learned how much more we appreciate what we have, like family, friends, and people who inspire us, like you! Thank you so much for being a bright light in a dark year. I wish you, your family, staff and dogs a very healthy, happy new year! Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!
I hope we have learnt something – in the midst of a traumatic year there have been some amazing people…
Such a fun blog to read! God bless your family in the coming year!
I wish you and yours a very Happy New Year – thank you for all your wonderful blogs – you have made the year bearable!!!
Thank you – happy 2021 to you and yours!
We wish you and your family and all the staff at Highclere Castle a very happy New Year from The Netherlands. We really enjoyed the Channel 4 feature on “Christmas at Highclere Castle” last week. I’m glad that in the end you managed to open the Castle to visitors after all the work everyone put in. We will certainly open our front and back doors on the 31st so 2020 will become a memory and 2021 can arrive with hope, health and happiness for everyone!
How very kind – thank you and we look forward to welcoming our neighbours and seeing you in 2021
Wishing you and yours many good things in 2021 and thank you for your wonderful and insightful observations and writings. You open gates and doors to a world that is currently beyond our reach and it sustains us both delightfully and with food for thought.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Your blog was so entertaining. I enjoyed learning about the different superstitions and practices surrounding the coming of the new year. In North Carolina, on New Year’s day, we eat collards and black eyed peas. Collards are to bring money and black eyed peas good luck for the New Year. Many years I’m not up to cheer in the New Year, but this year it might be different. I’m ready for a healthier year for everyone.
I hope your 2021 is filled with health, joy and love. May the Highclere doors be open and welcoming guest once again.
Thank you – wishing you good luck!!!
A happy and healthy New Year to you and everyone at Highclere.
Anther aphorism.. “What goes up must come down” That includes bullets fired by the locals here to welcome the new year! We are expecting rain on Wednesday..a blessing for my vegetable garden! But I have my English ‘Wellies’ ready and my Dad’s gardening jacket , so I am with John on preparedness! Blessings from Texas
Wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy New Year!
What interesting New Year’s customs to add to our collard greens and black eyed peas ritual here in the South. Happy New Year!
The New Year is a painting not yet painted; a path not yet stepped on; a wing not yet taken off! Things haven’t happened as yet! Before the clock strikes twelve, remember that you are blessed with the ability to reshape your life!” ―Mehmet Murat ildan
That is so positive- thank you
Lady Carnarvon, Wishing you and your family the very best for the New Year. For all most a year now I have so very much enjoyed your Blog, Instagram and your Podcast. It really has brought me great joy. You will always have my support and admiration. With Kind Regards, Cheryl
Thank you so much Cheryl – I have found it an uplifting connection as well – we are all walking together
Such wonderful stories of welcoming in the New Year!
Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!
In Love and Light
Happy New Year to all, everywhere, anytime!
Yes, this is late New Years Day, but I still want to wish you, your family, all of your staff, and of course those four-legged companions (what we do without them) at Highclere a Very Happy New Year. I enjoyed this post so very much especially the traditions and quotes or superstitions. We have many of them passed down from our ancestors that are dear to us. I look forward to your upcoming posts.
Happy New Year ! I’m watching Downton Abbey for the third time – in my holiday-home in the Auvergne (snow everywhere!) – and I think of you and your family living in that fabulous place. Best wishes for 2021, to you and yours, from someone sharing dear St Andrews memories.
Happy New Year Caspar!
Love this! Love your writing!
Happy new year to you and your family!
And to you and your family as well!