Wednesday, 28 December 2016

These In-Between Days



Hello! Did you have a good Christmas? I hope so. Ours rushed by in a blur but it was all good, if a little busy. I was lucky enough to receive some great presents; useful things like some excellent new gardening tools - my mum actually wrapped up a hoe in wrapping paper - and luxurious things like new jumpers, posh chocolates and necklaces. I also received a cheese plant. How I love my new cheese plant! (If you think that's random, my mum bought my dad a chainsaw, for his wood store. He is delighted.) Bella and Angus had a lovely time and basked in the attention of adoring grandparents. Angus's crocheted chimpanzee was finished at 10 pm on Christmas Eve. We all ate a lot. Molly has quite a taste for roast turkey, it would appear, and is shameless in her attempts to steal turkey legs (straight off the joint resting on the kitchen work top), turkey sandwiches and leftover meat chopped ready for a risotto. 

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I do like these days between Christmas and New Year. With every year that goes by, I've come to appreciate and value them more and more. The build up to this time of year is hectic, often frantic. The main event - especially if you're hosting - is plain exhausting. But Boxing Day I look forward to every year; delicious leftovers to eat up, a long walk on the beach or in the woods, presents to enjoy. And the days that follow are even better as we settle into a quiet rhythm of gentle pottering and relaxing. Today our house guests left and while we were sorry to see them go, I did enjoy slowly straightening up the house, looking at and putting away lovely gifts, opening windows, vacuuming and mopping, sorting out the fridge and planning meals that use up all that turkey and ham. The children drifted off to do their own thing, play with their new toys, read their new books. The dog slept in her basket. It was, for the first time in many weeks, peaceful.

I realise I am very lucky not to work over Christmas and, having worked through many exhausting Christmases in retail, I know that not everyone gets to sit around eating chocolates and watching TV at this time of year. But I am so looking forward to the next few days before our next lot of guests arrive for New Year. I have some new books that need my attention, and a jigsaw to keep me quiet. I love jigsaws. Our daily dog walks continue to be a joy (the frost in the woods today!) and we are out and about every day. The weather the last few days has been perfect, cold, clear and still with frosty mornings and beautiful sunsets. I'll leave you with a photo of a frosty umbellifer I snapped on my phone this morning.



27 comments:

Susan Smith said...

Thank you for a look at & your thoughts on this time between Xmas & New Year, which I find quite strange at times, probably because of the hectic lead to it all. Think I'd definitely enjoy your walks at the moment as our weather has been hot, with lots of oppressive days due to cloud, some rain, & extreme humidity, which I don't like. Having a dog is a real learning curve, isn't it, but she sounds contented & fitting in OK. Ah, jigsaws are great. Have you tried a Wasgij? Keeps you mind very busy. Happy New Year & take care.

CJ said...

It is lovely to tidy and air a little isn't it. We're enjoying the post-Big Day lull too. That egg looks delicious, what is it sat on? Love the cheese plant as well. We would all be thrilled to receive a chainsaw for Christmas. And maybe some safety goggles... Glad you are all set for gardening tools. Envying you your dog walks. Am wondering how soon we can persuade dog acquisition here. CJ xx

Gillian Roe said...

Bubble and squeak! :-)

Louise said...

I had a fantastic Christmas as I escaped for a few quiet days without family! Glad you all had a good Christmas, that last photo is beautiful. I didn't have time to go out and enjoy the frost this morning.

Jacquie said...

Wonderful pictures Gillian. So glad you are relaxing now. I'm loving the in between days too.
Jacquie x

Lisa said...

That's lovely! I'm enjoying these days as well.

Amy Spour said...

I couldn't agree more, by the time Christmas Day is over I feel exhausted. It's so nice to have a few days to relax and potter, I've needed them if I'm honest! Your hygge book looks lovely, have you read 'A year living Danishly'? I've been tryin to have as much hygge in our house as possible after listening to it (I'm an audible fan). I'm planning on finishing some sewing projects and starting my new colouring book, lovely, slow jobs. Enjoy the time off before school starts again!

Lilbitbrit said...

So funny about Molly. My uncle de-boned two whole chickens for a party, many years ago and they couldn't find the one chicken and here their lab had stolen the entire chicken off the table and started eating it. Needless to say he was not too happy, but it was a funny story and we all had a laugh.

Emma - a simple living journey said...

I completly agree, this glimpse of time between christmas and new years feels like total bliss doesnt it? We have no where to be, making our own way about the place. Our tree is packed up, there are new toysand books to keep everyone busy and happily occupied. :)

xx

Gracie Saylor said...

Bravo on the 10pm Christmas Eve finish of the chimp! So glad you are having a lovely week :) Two of my adult children are puzzling, and I have two new puzzles to sort. You inspire me! xx

VeggieMummy said...

Gorgeous photos, that trifle is a triumph and I love your cheese plant and books. We just have one more birthday to go and then I can relax. Happy dog walking. xx

Librarian said...

This year, I got to celebrate Christmas twice - first with my family at my parents', in our traditional, quiet manner with real candles and the same dish for Christmas Eve dinner that my grandparents already had when they were children.
On Christmas Day, I took the morning train to O.K.'s so that I was there in time for lunch at his sister's, and spent that day and part of the next with his folks. We went to church on the 26th, because O.K. was to play the trumpet at the family service, and both days managed brisk walks around the fields and vineyards.
Then back to my place where I hosted a family dinner on the 27th. Yesterday afternoon, O.K. had to leave as he is working today, but he'll be back for New Year's Eve at my sister's.
Quite a bit of back-and-forth between our two places, but that's what you get when you're in a (relatively) long-distance relationship, and it is all a lot more relaxed than it sounds.

Your photos are beautiful as always! Love the Charbonnel & Walker chocolates and the last photo in this post.

Lisa said...

Enjoy this Romjul time however you choose to spend it.
Lisa x

Ronnie Busby said...

Thank you for your beautiful photos; an inspiration...

Anonymous said...

It all sounds relaxed and content at your place, Gillian, and your post conveys a serenity that is a pleasure to read. Gorgeous photos, as always. Having to get out with the dog saves my sanity at this time of year (when I get fed up of entertaining and clearing up - honestly, I am turning into a grump!). Our last guest goes tomorrow, then I'm having a couple of days of wearing my pyjamas..! Have a lovely rest of the holidays. Sam xx

Frugal in the Valley said...

I really love your photography. Oh I love your pooch....

Mary Nolan-Fesmire said...

Love the look of the cake in the middle of your blog post. Might you have a link to a recipe? It looks delicious! Happy New Year Gillian from across the pond. <3

Life With The Crew said...

Love that last photo Gillian - beautiful! Enjoy your quiet days.

Jennifer Hays said...

I'm so glad you're enjoying the quiet days at home. Me too, it's very relaxing not to have anywhere I must be, just things I want to do and places I feel like going. Hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend. Happy New Year!

Jeanette Renting said...

Oh what a lovely blanket you are crocheting.

AnnieOBTextiles said...

Love the cheese plant and the shades it creates. The crochet blanket is beautiful and I would be very interested in the pattern - is it your own design? Happy New Year and enjoy the celebrations with your friends.

Julia said...

I'm also enjoying these quiet days! They have been wonderful and relaxing! I wish you and your family a very healthy and happy New Year!!

Katie said...

beautiful photos, Molly sounds to be settling in beautifully! Jigsaws are perfect for this time of year, and one of the reasons I love hosting Christmas is to get to spend Boxing Day filling the freezer with various dishes conjured up from the leftovers! xx

mrsrobinson said...

I do love your photographs... The days between Christmas and new year have become more eagerly anticipated over the years - the gentle, peaceful days! Sadly not this year for I took to bed. For the whole week. I now feel a little cheated, which is not a cheery way to welcome a new year. So I've been trying to recreate that week over these past few days when most are brightly in new year mode we are still in days of pyjamas and cosying with twinkly Christmas mode. I should get a little organised today though as it's the last day of the holidays...

Gillian Roe said...

Hi Annie. The pattern for the crochet blanket is from a book called Granny Squares by Susan Pinner. I wrote about it here:http://www.talesfromahappyhouse.com/2016/04/finally-finished.html
Hope that helps!
Gillian x

Gillian Roe said...

Yes, I read it about a year ago and absolutely loved it. Very interesting indeed - we could learn a lot from the Danes. :-)

Gillian x

Gillian Roe said...

Hello. If you mean the Christmas cake, it's from Nigella Christmas and you can find it here:
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2011/nov/02/nigella-lawson-christmas-cake-recipe
I leave out the chopped nuts and add in lots more glace cherries, but that's just my personal preference. It's a great recipe though, works every time and is never dry.
Gillian x