It was a deliberately quiet weekend. Mostly, I retreated to the warm kitchen and surrounded myself with cooking smells and the radio. I don't know why I persist in listening to Radio 4 constantly when the news is so relentlessly depressing, but I do. I must find something about it comforting. Saturday was wet so I did some errands, made chutney, worked my way through a pile of ironing, cooked a butternut squash lasagne for dinner. My parents called in and my poor put upon Dad (who'd just come from painting my sister Katy's new kitchen) hung a shelf for me. I worked on my second pair of crochet socks and ignored the patterns for the crochet animals I am supposed to be making as gifts.
Sunday was sunny. I supervised homework and baked a Christmas cake - a small one this time, as it does seem that it's only me who eats it - and caught up on admin. By admin, I mean the forest of paperwork that comes home in book bags each week; Christmas card orders, school photo orders, finding a costume for Victorian Day, checking we have clothes with spots or stripes for Children in Need day on Friday, paying for trips and school lunches. I need to make sure I buy suitable jumpers for Christmas Jumper Day at school, before they sell out.
Late Sunday afternoon I met my other sister, Anna, and her girls for a short walk. The sun was starting to go down and the dwindling light was lovely. The trees are looking bare in places and there was a touch of winter in the views of branches silhouetted against the sky. I like living near my family, especially on those weekends when John is working. I don't take having them nearby for granted, not one bit.
Then I made fish pie for tea and John and I watched tv together all evening. All very humdrum. All very comforting.