The thick Tudor walls lie heavily against the broad fields surrounding the castle, narrow defensive slots glowing yellow and orange. Inside, winter box gardens (yew bushes and spruce trees) lie in geometric contrast to spare courtyards. Wales,this time of evening, is peaceful and still, quiet as mistletoe amidst the bare branches.
Five big issues need sorting; their resolution this month will set life onto a new course in February. Some of the choices are out of my hands, others take an uncharacteristic degree of tough-mindedness to close.
I refuse to get stressed, but sleepless anxiety is here to stay for a few weeks.
Nothing would be gained by sitting and worrying, and so Chris took the initiative to book me a couple of days of days away from it all. Then touch of luxury included lush medieval rooms, a talented Continental chef, wide fields, chocolate cake, and a picturesque village to roam. Taken together, it was just the tonic.
It really was a lovely break, a fitting entry to 2015 and a harbinger of new adventures to come.