Archibold was sitting by the fireplace watching the crackling fire as he soaked his poor feet in a bowl of warm lavender water. 'You are a treasure Hortensia My Dear, my feet feel better already.' Hortensia smiled, she was heating up the soup for their evening meal, 'just been so cold and damp for so long Archie, hard for your feet to always be in clammy wet boots day in and day out.'
Archibold sniffed the air as Hortensia lifted the lid and the sweet smell of onion and barley broth filled the air, 'don't feel damp or cold now My Dear, downright toasty inside and out!' he slurped at his soup and smacked his lips with delight. Hortensia had given up years ago trying to curb his enthusiasm for soup, and was now resigned to accepting that all slurps and burbs were a sign of great contentment and appreciation.
The two gnomes sat looking into the flickering flames, usually at this time of year, their friends would be dropping by, and the air would be full of excitement at the news of the latest buds and flowers that they all had spotted that day. 'The bluebells have started to show their leaves, that's something to look forward to, best we wait for Spring to finally come by keeping warm and planning an escapade or two.'
Hortensia agreed, the truth was that the unseasonal cold was becoming exhausting. 'Its not that I don't see how beautiful it all is, but frost every morning at this time of year is a little wearing....' Hortensia's voice faded away as she realised that the room was filling up with sounds of soft snoring and the occasional snuffle - Archibold was sound asleep.
'Fancy falling asleep with his feet in a bowl of water, he must be very tired indeed!' Hortensia gently lifted his feet out of the water and wrapping a shawl around them, placed them on the rug.
She sat back in her rocking chair looking into the glowing flames, 'seems the poor earth is tired too' she thought 'perhaps it needs a rest as well, humans are so busy these days and doing so many silly things, perhaps they need some dream time too....nature is wiser than us, best to go with how things are...' and with that Hortensia found her eyes slowly closing as she too gently drifted into a little snooze. 'Must start on my embroidery, nearly Aunt Mildred's Birthday and she will want to wear her new hat.' But her head kept nodding forward and soon she was fast asleep - the little room began to fill with the sweet air of adventurous dreams and the snug comfort and peace of a happy home.