I have to say the weather has not exactly covered itself with glory so far. There has been the occasional nice day, but it’s not adding up to a season, just the occasional flash of not raining. I was full of good intentions about the new, improved self that will emerge butterfly-like from the chrysalis of the summer holidays, but really, you look out of the window and all you want to do is sit on the sofa and eat another chocolate biscuit.
I triumphed over my slothful nature and persuaded Super Girl to go for a walk with me, just a loop up the road above the church, past a couple of very disenchanted alpacas who didn’t appreciate the weather either. I felt SG was being a bit teenagey about the walk but as she pointed out she had changed out of her pyjamas in honour of the occasion, and she could have been a lot more teenagey and just not come for a walk at all.
Which of course leaves me open to the age old pun about being trying. And what have I been trying to do lately? I’ll try to update you over the next few days.
What I’m trying to do just at the moment is decide what knitting to take with me tomorrow on our Big Day Out to go and see Boy Wonder. My most recent project is done, and I think just knitting squares would be a bit too dull for a whole day. Too tiresome.
We are just about at the end of this year’s Advent Calendar, and I have as ever been astounded the beauty of some of the windows – and by the inability of some people to put their lights on at the right time, but that’s being mean! As is now traditional, we invited calendar creators and their families along to a bit of a cake fest at church to mark the occasion. A cake fest is a wonderful thing – it’s a bit like the film Field of Dreams – “If you build it they will come!” but in this case, if you declare a fest there will be cake.
The Marvellous Mummy texted in a bit of a panic saying: I have an hour, what do you think – fairy cakes or nothing? But there’s never a shortage of cake at these things, and this year we had a guide leader added to the mix, so she was never going to be knowingly short of baked goods.
This was the first year that I hadn’t known all the participants, so it was a little strange seeing people coming into the room who I didn’t recognise, but it was a lovely gathering, a fairly disparate group of people, all drawn together by a common interest in putting together something that would bring Christmas joy to the village – and cake.
All the best ventures nourish both body and soul and on New Year’s Eve we went to visit the Saltaire Living Advent Calendar, the one that inspired ours four years ago. As ever, it was a damp, chilly evening, but there were some beautiful windows again, and with a definite bonus when we visited the Thomas Street bakery which sponsored the calendar this year.
No slouch as a salesman, the baker came to the door to ask if we wanted any bread or cakes – what a question. We couldn’t resist a cake each (I had a fabulous porter cake which I need to try making some time – although not for the Methodists) and finally settled upon a kartoffelbrot made with beer barm, only to then be given two more free loaves because he was packing away! We kept a delicious beetroot and walnut for ourselves and gave an unidentified white to the Efficient Organiser when we went over that evening. Doesn’t everyone take bread when they’re invited out?
It’s been lovely getting people’s Christmas cards and reading their news – I have to admit I am a huge fan of the Christmas newsletter (ok, mostly because I enjoy reading about what people have been doing, but also because some of them are so unintentionally funny). Which makes it such a shame that I am so horrendously bad at sending my own.
Despite my best intentions I never manage to get cards sorted out and sent before Christmas, on the bright side we are now about to send out this year’s Christmas wishes – I’m counting this as Christmas, we’re still within the 12 days! This year’s news won’t be a Christmas Round Robin, but it will at least be an Epiphany Epistle – there have been years when it was more like an Easter Update.
I know it’s meant to be the thought that counts, but that leaves the question: what was I thinking?
Not an original question, I know. It occurred to Shakespeare quite some time ago, after all, but still one that I find interesting. How I name something to myself can make a marked difference to how I think about it.
Although all of Super Girl’s sock roulette socks have now been worn in their random form and are now safely paired up, the fact that they are birthday roulette socks, lends additional charm to the less exciting pairs. I feel more cheerful when I wear what I think of as my “holiday knickers”, since they were originally bought for a trip – admittedly helped by the fact that one pair sports flamingoes – who wouldn’t be cheered by that?
For the last few days, we have not had rain so much as the experience of God tipping out buckets over us, and these have been made a little more bearable by the fact that I still think of my waterproof as my “lovely, new waterproof” even though I have now had it for quite some time. The fact that it cost more than every other waterproof that I had owned put together, and I bought it in a sale (don’t get too carried away here, all my other waterproofs were pretty cheap), possibly helped its loveliness to lodge in my mind. Lucky really, as it is getting rather a lot of use at the moment.
I’ve had fun finding some I thought she would like, but however nice they are, socks aren’t the most exciting present, unless of course you happen to be playing sock roulette!
What you have here are 10 pairs of socks but each sock is individually wrapped, the rules are you have to unwrap two socks and wear them.
Lovely to see how excited a teenager can be about such a small thing, and her friends are now checking each day’s outcome.
. . . now the weeds have gone. Although, to be fair, most of what I can see is more weeds.
Don’t for a moment get carried away, I’m just talking about the little front garden, the neglected vegetable patch and borders remain very much as neglected as ever, but I did conduct a little bit of a campaign in the front garden earlier in the summer: the biggest thugs were hauled out, and a few replacements installed but then in a bid to get all cottage gardeny I spread around a couple of packets of suitable seeds. Quite a few came up beautifully while we were away, and whilst this means we have some lovely flowers, it has made the weeding rather more complicated.
When I say the weeds have gone, what’s gone mostly is the wild forest of mares’ tails which, as it turns out, were providing quite useful support for other flowers – so that’s a bit of a shame. The main problem now is that I cheerfully broadcast assorted seeds around, and I’m not entirely sure what I planted, which makes it trickier to identify quickly which are weeds and which are wanted, and unfortunately that means that Boy Wonder can’t really be brought into play, as he was for the initial sorting out. His weeding is the determined but undiscerning sort.