I decline to have anything to do with Christmas before December 1st at the earliest. I close my eyes to Christmas decorations in the streets, and scuttle out of any shops belting out Christmas musak. A three month long celebration ain’t our kind of Christmas at all.
There are just two exceptions. Christmas pudding has to be made on Stir Up Sunday. And since I was a small girl, October half term has been the time to make the Christmas cake. That way, it’s got time to sit and mature, have all those rich flavours get acquainted, and wait for us to feed it with frequent tablespoonsful of hooch. We made the cakes last Saturday – one for each family in the family – and today I’ve got them out again to pour a little whisky on the already sozzled cakes.
That’s the beginning of our kind of Christmas.
#Kinda SquareBe sure to read Becky’s post. She has some fine suggestions to make today a better day for you, and for others.
My grandchildren look nothing like me, or anyone in my past. One looks like his dad. The next one looks like his uncle. The next one’s the spitting image of his granddad. And then along came Zoë. A few weeks back, my son found this photo of me at about the age Zoë is now, and thought he detected a resemblance. Two of a kind? You decide.
At about 6.00 in the morning, a van trundles down the track you can just see at the bottom of the featured photo. It’s the milkman, and he leaves us our pint of milk. If we leave an empty egg box out, he takes it, and replaces it with one full of eggs from the farm in a nearby village. Perfect.
The empty glass milk bottles we leave out go on being used and used. They travel sometimes too. Today’s comes from Southport, 90 miles away. We love this blast-from-the-past daily delivery. During lockdown, milkmen like ours became so busy that they had to close their books to new orders. Let’s hope this sustainable form of shopping continues, even when (if?) the pandemic abates.
We’re going on two virtual trips today. You might not want to come on the one where I took the featured photo. It was a channel crossing we made a few years go. Expected duration? An hour and a half. Actual duration? Six miserable hours which you can read about here. This shot shows the view as we neared the harbour in Boulogne.
Mainly though, a trip across the Channel – even the North Sea – can be part of the holiday. A chance to enjoy views of the waves, the sunrise and sunset, the salty breezes whipping at your hair. And that’s why I’ve chosen shots taken while at sea for Jude’s challenge this week: waves. After my nightmare voyage, I’ve preferred gentle rippling water playing with reflections from the sun, and vessels heading across the endless waters. That’s my kind of sea trip.
Neptune is probably used to playing host to coastal residents. He seemed kindly disposed towards this gull alighting on his head, as he strode purposefully through the Moon Ponds at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal earlier this week.
Walking in Studley Royal the other day, my interest was kindled by an odd yelping call coming from one of the trees along my path. It wasn’t from any bird I recognised. That’s because it turned out not to be a bird, but a grey squirrel. An alarmed and agitated grey squirrel. This one.
I don’t know what the problem was – nothing that I could see. But he was at it as I arrived. I watched him for more than five minutes, and he was still at it as I went on my way. This is what he sounded like.