Something has shifted and changed over these last few days; in the weather, in the season, and in my mood. It's turned cold, with a biting wind straight from the north, talk of snow showers, and clear skies which turn from blue to palest violet, peach, pink. The last leaves are falling fast, leaving bare branches silhouetted against the sky and it feels like autumn just took a step closer to winter. And there is the whisper of Christmas not so far away now.
We went into town yesterday afternoon to watch the Mayor switch on the Christmas lights. After half an hour we went home, frozen, to watch Elf under a blanket in front of the fire. We didn't even wait to see the lights get switched on. It was still lovely though, to be out, surrounded by friends from school, in our new community. Today we walked along the harbour, all bundled up like little snowmen. Hats, scarves, gloves, the lot.
I hung some fairy lights in the porch (I really don't see why they should be just for Christmas) and I love the welcoming glow they bring to the entrance to our house. Next weekend I'll be up in the loft digging out the advent calendar and wreath. At home, we've been keeping warm in the kitchen, baking gingerbread and shortbread biscuits, drinking many cups of tea or hot chocolate, doing a little festive crafting. The new washing machine has been delivered and plumbed in and it's amazing, so quiet! Our old one sounded like a aeroplane landing when it was in full spin - this one is so discreet I hardly know it's there, and it politely beeps at me to let me know it's finished. I'm sure we're going to be very happy together. Of course I spent a good part of this weekend doing all the usual chores too, but with a more of a spring in my step as I am allowing myself to feel the teeniest bit of festive excitement. Some dislike the early onset of the festive season - and I wont be buying a tree for quite some time yet - but I like it, I like the build up, the planing and the preparations. It's all about the anticipation for me.