I travelled to the start point with a local pal, through pouring rain and Thornton Heath. The weather cleared while we were preparing for the off, transforming into a bright winter day with sunshine and blue sky. The downside was that the massive puddles left over from the day before became blinding mirrors.
There were a few flooded patches; I find these nervewracking, but when you've successfully navigated one it's a real big-grin moment. (I washed my bike on Saturday because I was beginning to forget what its original colour was. Now it's plastered to the fetlocks again.)
Middle Farm is home to the National Cider and Perry Collection, a bewildering array of barrels which you are free to explore with a sample glass until you find your perfect match. I picked up some perry and some small-batch gin, then while queuing at the checkout I spotted Chilli Squirrel and was unable to resist.
Today I had to be at work, and tomorrow I have to be at work, but I've been listening to the festive edition of Bob Harris Country and there is enough chocolate knocking around the office to make it quite jolly.