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.