One week until Christmas and I am gathering my resources.
Christmas present shopping has been completed in real life painlessly. One trip to Guildford on the park and ride bus accompanied by my wonderful daughter and I am done. There was an emergency trip yesterday to buy sheets and extra pillows for the new bed (I’d forgotten how depleted my linen cupboard had become since having university age children) but as the town with the bedding shop also hosts a large new Waitrose I also did a big shop to stock the larder and more besides and now I’m feeling remarkably well-organised for the coming weeks.
Today I’ve cleaned (my window cleaner arrived this morning and that always provokes me into action), been swimming and called in at the allotment for anemones, chard and leeks. My fifth batch of sourdough is proving and I’ve ironed a heap of new and old bed linen while listening to Gardeners’ Question Time – I do like the contribution James Wong makes and enjoy reading his column in the Observer too.
The little donkey in the first photo is the same one that my then 14 month old son carried to the stable during a Christmas Eve service in our very small 11th century church almost 21 years ago. He walked the length of the aisle holding his precious cargo, placed it carefully in the stable and returned to me with a big smile. He’s coming home on Sunday and I cannot wait.
Before then we have a busy day at the cottage to look forward to. We had the chimney repointed yesterday and today so now we are not far off lighting the stove. The chimney has been swept, the stove and flue given a clean bill of health and wood has been stacked. Meanwhile we have the new boiler installation and a complete electrical re-wire booked in for January. A glazer, a carpenter and a decorator complete the line-up of jobs organised so far. We’re even winning the battle with the resident mice in the three attic spaces.
I am looking forward to Christmas in my usual low-key way. We are going to a Christmas party on Sunday and I will bring in the Christmas tree this weekend. Not to decorate quite yet, but just to enjoy its fresh piney scent and to see its lights reflected in the full length window. I will save the decorating until nearer Christmas, after all there is still one week to go.