Hello and Merry Christmas! I hope you all had a wonderful few days break as we did. I've missed this space and it feels good to be back. We've lolled on sofas and gone for brisk walks. We've eaten a lot of good food, drunk a fair bit, played board games, unwrapped a lot of presents, laughed a lot, sometimes at the presents. A proper family Christmas.
This weeks moments of happiness include...
1. Indulging in some Christmas kitsch at the local garden centre.
The expression "so bad it's good" comes to mind.
These tiny light up houses would normally send me running to the hills, but I found I was quite drawn to them, peering in to the little windows, examining the idyllic scene.
I love how it's ok to have really bad taste at Christmas.
2. Food. Oh, we have eaten so well this week! Too well. Christmas lunch was a roast turkey, plus a goose (just in case 14 pounds of turkey wasn't enough) with all the usual trimmings. Mmm. I love the trimmings. The roast potatoes, stuffing, pigs in blankets, bread sauce, cranberry sauce...so, so good. My mum and John cooked for thirteen people. I am frequently very thankful that I married a man who can cook.
For the first time we roasted some chestnuts.
It was a bit of a faff to be honest, scoring the shells, wrestling the nuts out of their hard casings after they were cooked. They smelt and tasted amazing though.
They were cooked with sherry and pancetta and added to the sprouts. My verdict was that sprouts are still sprouts however you pimp them up.
3. It is very rare indeed that I get to see both my sisters on their birthdays (the 23rd and 27th December) and I can't think when that last happened before this week. I offered to make their cakes and had a glimpse of the kind of Decembers my mum must have endured during our childhoods, a marathon of baking and hosting, preparing and clearing up.
4. The most perfect walk on the beach this afternoon. Very cold, very sunny - just the kind of weather I want at this time of year. The sun set as we walked. The kids ran about, chasing the waves, collecting shells. Angus said it was his "best walk" all Christmas because he got to run around in the surf.
I forgot my big camera so made do with the rubbish camera on my phone, but it doesn't matter, I can go back again and again!
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I think I might make this my last weekly "happies" post for now. It feels like a good time to stop - the end of a year, the end of an era. I will however - and possibly somewhat ambitiously - be looking for and celebrating one good thing a day throughout January, that most challenging of months. There is so much to love about winter, and I'll be focusing on the positives that January can bring us. I'll post weekly again, with each weeks moments of goodness. I haven't really ironed it all out just yet, but I was just so excited about it I wanted to tell you.
We go back up to Leeds tomorrow to pack up the house. I've basically been in moving denial for the past week. I need to focus. Wish me luck!