21 December 2014 Winter Solstice
there is a mouse running about on the floor above my head. Actually the most enormous mouse or one with feet of clay. Can hear it chewing too. Remember that there is one also in my craft room and is probably munching its way through my stocks of fabrics, cottons, ribbons, stuffing, felt, silks, books. It is using them more than I do. My exotic neighbour who has an ideal lifestyle of having a very rich but irritable husband who happens to live in a different country (‘we are very happy together’ – I bet you are) had shipped over a load of books belonging to her mother. Her mother collected books and fabrics and craft stuff and never actually got around to doing craft. Mea culpa.
I have got to the stage when I am even starting to be intimidated by the amount of cook books on the kitchen shelf. I don’t think I have enough days left in my life to eat all the dishes even if I started today. Fond memories of Master Chef when it was just Lloyd Grossmann and a host of lucky celebrities (the ones you had actually heard of) who came and tasted and said ‘oh this is simply YUMMY’ and no one said Cooking Doesn’t Get Any Harder Than This. Have a number of these MS cookbooks gleaned from a thrift shop. Cooking did get a lot more varied back then and I liked the regional element. Have to say that Strictly Come Dancing is a big improvement on the old Come Dancing which I vaguely remember also had a regional element and involved immense amounts of sequins (sown on my candle burning mothers and aunties) and tulle. The wearers sailed around the floor like galleons in full sail.
I have informed people ‘no more cook books’ please though I have not banned myself from buying craft books. They are a joy and also research so therefore essential.
Surprising how dark it is at eight am. Realise I am no longer early riser and in fact both of us have taken to sleeping til about nine. With the kids no longer at home, we don’t have to set an example. Getting up when it is dark is extremely disagreeable. Coined word ‘berking’ – working in bed. Ideally with catheter and permanently hot beverage (thank you Sheldon Cooper for reintroducing me to this word).
Last week a local was attempting to direct me to her house – ‘we are just past the hall where the local fetes are held every year’ – I had to admit I had never gone. ‘we are just past the Q’s house’ – I don’t know them despite the fact they are Brits and only live 2 kms away. The list of places and people continued and in the end I had to insist she gave me her actual address. We are more unsociable than I realised. I have low boredom threshold. OH claims to hate bad wine but it never seems to stop him drinking lots of it, providing it is free. We both hate boring people. There are a lot of very boring people out there and they don’t come with a remote control.
I can hear bells outside and alas it is not Santa. It is those bastard hunters with their bell wearing dogs. Out to celebrate this lovely morning by tramping through the forests to kill wild animals. If I was in charge, it would be the Hunger Games for that lot. Interestingly, the deer seem to be wise to them and lurk in areas where the hunters are not, usually at the top of a high field, and watch with interest all the shenanigans going on down in the forest. It is wild boar’s turn at the moment. Their babies are so cute and spotted.
Last year we were walking the dog on an old railway track. The ground was thickly carpeted with orange and gold fallen leaves, our breath curled up into the air. Our dog was going for the World record of peeing on every fifth tree. The sound of wood cutting rang out and then, from around the side of a cabin, a stout man with an outstanding white beard appeared. Bonjour! he said and waved his axe. Cold weather today but not as cold as in the North! Must get on. He stomped back around the back of the shed. The dog had not noticed him. The house was closed up with a faint wisp of smoke laying a blanket over the slates. Even the birds were silent. We decided we now knew where Father Christmas lived.