On The Sixth Day Of Christmas…

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me,
Six geese a-laying…

Dear Mike,

Geese? Really? And all the other birds again?

I thought you were onto jewellery. But now it’s twelve calling birds, twelve hens, twelve doves (okay, only four are left), six partridges, six pear trees, and ten gold rings. It’s very generous, but I’m beginning to see Dad’s point. Thank heavens it’ll all stop tomorrow with new year.

The girls got here. They’re spending half the time taking the mickey out of Dad for all the gifts I’m getting, and half the time taking the mickey out of me. I think they’re jealous.

But… Really, enough of the birds. They’ve been lovely, but we’re already having to give away chickens and partridges. It doesn’t seem right for you to send me presents you know I’ll be giving away. We just don’t have the space for them. So no more, okay darling?

Happy new year for tonight. I’ll be thinking of you at midnight.

Daisy x


On The Fifth Day Of Christmas…

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me,
Five gold rings…

Dear Mike,

I think if it had just been five gold rings Dad would’ve been happier. But four more calling birds, three more hens, two more doves, a partridge and another pear tree he got a bit cross about it. But thank god you’re off your bird fixation and onto jewellery! Much less likely to get up Dad’s nose. Not to mention the neighbours.

You’ll be pleased to know that I caught the doves this time. Dad won’t let me keep them in the conservatory for long, though. He says the partridges are making enough mess, and if there’s going to be a bunch of doves crapping all over the place, too, I’ll have to do the cleaning up. You wouldn’t want me to have to clean up after the birds, would you. No, of course not.

Lots more fresh eggs for breakfast though, he wasn’t complaining about that, and we didn’t have to search the garden because the hens were all in the new chicken run.

All the time we can hear the eight calling birds singing away. Dad says he could hear them all night, too. I think he was happy about that.

Two days until New Year. We’re all so excited, and of course January is when I see you again.

All my love,



On The Fourth Day Of Christmas…

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me,
Four calling birds…

Dear Mike,

It’s really too much. I didn’t buy you anything like this for Christmas. Four days of presents! And today you’ve sent me everything again: A tree with a bird in it, two more doves (I’m so sorry, they flew away again, I ought to have realised what they were and kept the doors closed when I opened the box in the conservatory). Three more hens and now four birds – and they sing so beautifully!

I had an egg for breakfast from yesterday’s hens. Dad and Mum had one each, too. It was the least I could do after the mess the partridges are making of the conservatory floor, even with paper down.

I think he’s a bit fed up. Mum keeps going on about how romantic it is, and why hasn’t he ever done anything like it for her. Poor Dad, you’re really showing him up. I think she’s most impressed by the orchard you’ve sent so far. The birds are just the icing on the cake.

Dad’s outside now building a chicken run for all six chickens. Mum and I are watching him through the conservatory windows while we listen to the calling birds sing. He looks cold, but he says it’ll be worth it to stop them scratching up his garden.

Oh, Mike, I do miss you. New Years Eve will be sad without you. Thank goodness the girls are coming over.

All my love,

Daisy xx


Whisky Review: @Bunnahabhain Toiteach

This is the first of three very special whisky reviews. I very cheekily suggested to the distillery that they send me a free bottle after I blogged my review of the 25 year old. I wasn’t really expecting anything from them. They know I’m a loyal and committed disciple, so they don’t have to butter me up with freebies!

But they sent me three 20cl sample bottles. Three. And two of them have been a real treat. I’m saving the third for 31st of December, and I have high expectations.

I didn’t read about Bunnahabhain Toiteach until after I tasted it. I didn’t want any preconceptions. So I was surprised by the peaty aroma. It’s not something you expect from a Bunnahabhain malt. But there it was. Subtle, but still there. It doesn’t assault you, but it floods your nose, and even your mouth. I took in quite a few breaths, just to be sure I’d got it right, and each one renewed the aroma. Subtle, but full.

The colour is subtle, too. A very light gold, almost champagne colour which catches the light beautifully in our Thomas Webb Normandy crystal glasses (yes, we took out the best glassware for this).

On the first taste, the clean and fresh colour is reflected in the drink: there is no immediate flavour on the front of the tongue. But as it flows to the back, and the aroma fills the mouth and the back of the nose so you end up tasting the whisky over your whole mouth. It leaves the sharp sting of peppery taste on the front of the tongue and warms the throat beautifully with smoky peat.

Toiteach, I’m told, means ‘Smoky’ in scots Gaelic. The tasting notes say it has a sweet sherry influence. My takeaway thoughts weren’t about sweetness, sherry or smoke. The thing that stood out for me was how full flavoured the Toiteach was, without coming close to being overpowering. As well as drinking this yourself, my tasting partner Dimple enthusiastically tells me this would be the perfect gift for a woman who enjoys the flavour of whisky, but might find it a little too much.

I tasted it a second time a week later (mostly because I’d saved some). The second time around, there had been half a bottle of air for the whisky to interact with, and I found both the aroma and the taste to be stronger in peat. I’ve not known a drink to change in quite that way over such a short period before. I feel like I’ve had two for the price of one. Or in fact the price of none!

It’s been a long time since I tasted a whisky for the first time and knew it was going to be a permanent fixture in my Monk’s Bench. Thank you, @Bunnahabhain, if you could perhaps send more…?

I haven’t before now, but partly as a thank you to Bunnahabhain, and partly because I do think this is a bottle every whisky drinker should have, I’m going to add a link to the distillery shop. I’m not an affiliate, I won’t make any commission. It’s just good.

whisky review.Bunnahabhain Toiteach

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On The Third Day Of Christmas…

On the third day of Christmas my truelove sent to me,
Three french hens…

Dear Mike,

It’s so overwhelming. Three hens. Not just any hens, but my favourite type: French Hens! Of course today’s two doves flew away just like yesterday’s, but now I have three pear trees and three partridges. I put the new one with the other two in the conservatory. It smell lovely in there. Dad said I should eat one of the partridges, but they’re so beautiful roosting in the trees, I haven’t the heart. I made him clean up some bird poo from under the first two trees as a punishment for teasing.

I can’t wait to show the girls what a generous boyfriend I have. Three days of Christmas presents, they’ll all be so jealous. They’re coming over for new year’s eve, so I’ll be able to show them.

I wish you were here to show them, too. January can’t come soon enough.

All my love,

Daisy x


On The Second Day Of Christmas…

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me,
Two turtle doves…

Dear Mike,

Doves! You sent me doves! More lovely birds, and another tree with a partridge in it.

I’m sorry to say that the doves flew away pretty quickly, but what a wonderful thought. The two trees are in the conservatory. I won’t put them outside until the spring when the weather has warmed up or the frost will kill them. We’ll have so many lovely pears next summer.

I can’t begin to tell you how special it makes me feel to have such thoughtful gifts from someone as lovely and attentive as you. I hope you’re looking forward to a night of thanks from me in January. Teehee.

Daisy x


On The First Day Of Christmas…

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me,
A partridge in a pear tree.

Dear Mike,

Yesterday was perfect. Introducing our families over Christmas lunch, there couldn’t have been a better way. And what a lovely surprise this morning, to be woken with a delivery of a beautiful pear tree, and a partridge!

You know how much I love pears and birds. As a Christmas present, you couldn’t have chosen better.

I can’t wait until January when I get to see you again.

All my love,

Daisy x