Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Food, Family and Fresh Air

I have grown to love this week between Christmas and New Year even more than Christmas Eve and the big day. Life slows down and I'm not sure what day of the week it is, and it doesn't really matter anyway because we don't have to be anywhere. But this week still feels special and festive - there is still delicious food and drink to be eaten and shared, new gifts to be enjoyed, opportunities to catch up and celebrate with family and friends, walks to be taken, whatever the weather. I recently learned that the Norwegians have a word - Romjul - for this last week of the year which describes a balance of being cosy inside and enjoying the great outdoors, spending time with those you love but spending time alone, too, thinking about the year that's passed and the new one to come. I like that. 

Well, I don't know how balanced it is, but over the last week I have been:

:: Enjoying my blackberry gin.

:: Not minding early starts if they involve presents under a tree and happy faces. 

:: Feeling proud of my efforts in the hunting down of badger related stocking fillers.

:: Walking along our favourite coastal paths, even on the greyest of days.

:: Feeling spoilt, with delicious English sparkling wines (thank you Abigail) and a shiny new watch (thank you John).

:: Wishing it was colder so I could wear new Christmas jumpers, and also wishing it was less wet and thinking of those who've been affected by the awful weather.

:: Helping those naughty dinosaurs demolish the gingerbread house. So much fun!

:: Eating, and rather a lot. Especially leftovers, the highlight of which was my turkey sandwich, which I dream about in the run up to Christmas: sliced turkey on bread with some leftover stuffing, mayo, cranberry jelly and sliced gherkins. It has everything - sweet and sour flavours, softness and crunch, and it's quite filling too.

:: Browsing new cookery books and planning January meals which involve more vegetables and less meat.

:: Marveling at the earliness of all the bulbs this year, like this snowflake flower I saw out and about yesterday. At home my tulips are coming up! Go away, it's too early for Spring.

:: Considering annual membership to the National Trust after visiting beautiful Mottisfont House, one of the most child friendly and welcoming National Trust properties I've ever been to. 

:: Wishing I had a Shepherd's Hut in the back garden. Small stove, armchair, basket of yarn - I can just picture it, it would be so lovely....

:: Admiring the winter landscape, especially the bare trees.

I have also been avoiding all shops, even the online ones, thinking about next year's craft projects, reading lots of crime fiction, in particular Donna Leon and Agatha Christie, and sneaking in a little daytime sewing and crochet when there is a moment. 

I hope your Christmas was happy. Ours was lovely - completely exhausting and seemingly over in a blink - but still lovely. Gifts were well received and I keep checking the time on my new watch just because I can. But my highlight was on Christmas Night when I went to check on the kids before going to bed myself, and found both or them sound asleep and clutching their crocheted toys. Bella's polar bear was carefully arranged under the blanket next to her head, whereas Angus's dog was buried under his arm. That sight made my heart burst. 


  1. Last year I learned a new word for this period, it is Twixmas. Happy New Year to you x x

  2. What a lovely post Gillian, warms my heart. I am glad you all had such a lovely time. Enjoy the rest of Romjul. xx

  3. I love this time after all the excitement and busyness of the big day is over and you have time to relax and just do what you want to do. This year it has been more manic for me because of my Mum's 90th Birthday on Boxing Day and organising a party for family and friends yesterday so I am a bit late with post-Christmas chilling but now making the most of it! xx

  4. I knew they would love your crocheted toys. I enjoy this week between too; it's good to be free, with very little to do. I have some food shopping to do today or tomorrow, otherwise, I'm going to continue being on the couch with my feet up for a little longer. :)

  5. I'm enjoying this time between Christmas and the New Year, too. Today is a home day like yesterday and it's just nice. Your new jumper is so lovely. The weather forecast last night said it's going to be colder on New Year's Day so you'll hopefully get to wear it at last. Enjoy! X

  6. I'm with you about the shepherds hut. Always reminds me of Far From The Madding Crowd. Actually my great, great grandfather was a shepherd on the Dorset Downs, so totally relate to that movie and the wish for a shepherds hut.

  7. It looks and sounds like your family had a wonderful Christmas. I enjoy this week too, a time of reflection and planning for the next year.

  8. Hey Gillian,
    Drooling over your jumper, and that cute mug. I have noted down that word; I enjoy his part of the holiday too. I am typing tho while Olly is sat on my lap watching Happy Feet eating After Eights. I'm on my umpteenth cup of tea. Bliss!
    Leanne xx

  9. I enjoy this week too, time kinda stands still. There's plenty of food in the house, shopping of any kind is a non essential, wandering walks, catching up with family and friends, cosy log fires {(a festive must have even though the central heating has yet to fire up this winter) and watching Bridget Jones for the umpteenth time. A blissful week and one to be cherished before the new year rolls in. Happy New Year to you!

  10. Sounds like a wonderful time has been had by all. A shepherd's hut would be fantastic wouldn't it. CJ xx

  11. I love this time of year too. We also buy a too big turkey so we have can turkey sandwiches as much as we want for a few days! x (oh and we have NT membership and it's taken us to some wonderful places with the children)

  12. A beautiful post, everything sounds wonderful and as it should be. It's a lovely time of year.

    S X

  13. Your weeks sound very wonderful and special indeed! I never had blackberry gin but it sounds delicious!

    Take care
    Crochet Between Worlds

  14. Trust the scandinavians to have a word for it! But I love Romjul as well, lots of time with my favourite people. I'm glad yours has been a good Christmas.

  15. Romjul is an interesting way of putting it, though not so cuddly over here, so I'll go for your top comment with TWIXMAS. Like that. Seems as though you've made the most of it, foul weather and all. I do love your last paragraph about the kids, it certainly does pull at the heart strings. Happy New Year (last day here as I type this) to you all and take care.

  16. I know just the feeling: all three kids of mine took their homemade gifts with them to bed on Christmas Eve (we open presents on the 24th in the evening) - a true delight that made my heart sing!
    Romjul is a favorite of mine, too ��

  17. It sounds like you had a great Christmas - I love Angus's badger related stocking fillers; so cute. I had a new cookery book from L for my birthday that I'm looking forward to using - it's nice to have new inspiration isn't it? I've never read any Donna Leon but love Agatha Christie, so I've taken your recommendation (thank you) and will have a hunt when I visit the library today. Enjoy New Year's Eve. xx

  18. What a lovely post, thank you for all this!
    Here in Germany, we call this time of year "between the years", it's like a no-man's land where, as you say, life slows down, and we do things just a little differently from the rest of the year.
    Food, Family and Fresh Air could be the headline for my week, too :-) We've had the most amazing spring-like weather, warm and sunny, and were out on long walks every day (as can be seen on my blog). Now it has gone colder, and I guess the snow forecast for New Year's Day will come.

  19. Lovely times. I've also had my 60th birthday on Tuesday ..... Cri key! And managed to catch a stinking cold, so enjoying this week less than I had hoped. Xxx

  20. Lovely to read about your Christmas, Gillian. I'm glad you had a happy time. I've been getting up much later this between week, after a couple of hours of reading in bed - bliss. A hut of any description that would be 'my place' would be wonderful! I wish you a Happy New Year. Sam x

  21. Such a lovely post Gillian. This is such a lovely time of the year although as with you my thoughts are with those who have been flooded this Christmas. I am glad the children were so pleased with their crocheted toys. I hope you all have a very Happy ad Healthy New Year. x

  22. You write so nicely. When are you going to get a book deal?

    Have a fantastic new year!

    Sol x

  23. Ooh, the leftover sandwich. ..possibly my favourite part of the Christmas food, just replace the gherkins with leftover homemade bread sauce and you're laughing! I love it so much this year on boxing day that's all I ate, what a treat! Next year I have resolved to comment more and lurk less on my favourite blogs, so looking forward to your posts in 2016. Be blessed, Claire x

  24. Precious memories indeed.
    Mottisfont garden is lovely in the summer with all the roses out and full of fragrance.
    It sounds as though Christmas was good fun and full of good food too.
    I like the idea of Romjul. I think we should make the season last as long as we can, all the work and prep needs to be balanced out with more than just a couple of days.
    Happy New Year to you all.
    Lisa x

  25. A great post...that comment about the children and their new toys is so heart-warming.
    We bought smaller this year so there was only a little leftover turkey, but it did make a tasty sandwich. We've spent time with family and friends between Christmas and New Year and it has been lovely, with loads of laughing and good food.
    It's been a good Christmas and thankfully we have not been affected by floods, although my Dad who lives in Otley was saying it was very bad in town and around!

  26. Romjul eh? I shall remember that. Yours looks quite perfect :)

  27. It sounds like a perfect week, a lovely time with family and just taking things as they come.
    Hugs to you and Happy New Year,

  28. Thanks for sharing some of what you are enjoying as we launch into 2016, Gillian! Isn't it joyous when gifts are well given and received :) My long distance camera is ill so I can't show you, but after about 21 days of clouds and rain Mt. Hood and the surrounding foothills are gloriously snowy white in the sunshine. Down here in the valley it looks much like your countryside, but no blooming bulbs yet. Love to you and yours in 2016 xx

  29. Firstly, because it has distracted me entirely, that looks like an incredible sandwich! The Husband and I both went back to work between Christmas and New Year, and I did miss that time this year, though there were still plenty of festivities enjoyed too. I am glad you had a good end to the year. One of my gifts was the book "Lost in Translation" with beautifully illustrated untranslatable words from other languages, it is a lovely little collection. xx

  30. What a happy post, full of family and love and good food, and your new watch is gorgeous too! I like Romjul, good word! X

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