Hello! Everyone OK? Did you survive Christmas? Ours was lovely but I notice that I am relaxing more and more with each day that goes by. Christmas is wonderful but it's also exhausting, and I didn't even have to cook the big lunch.
My mother and father in law travelled down from Durham to spend some time with us and it was so nice to see them, and especially to watch the children bask in the glow of grandparent attention. We spent Christmas Eve pottering around the house, with myself mainly in the kitchen; boiling and roasting a ham, cooking a turkey crown and attempting a gingerbread house. It didn't get off to the most auspicious start, since the ready made kit I bought was broken in places. I repaired it with icing but the biscuit was starting to soften quite badly. Once Bella and Angus had decorated it, I left it for a day or two and hoped it would harden before I assembled it. But it didn't really, and the whole thing collapsed under it's own weight before I could even get a photo of it.
Christmas day was a blur of unwrapping gifts, eating, and trying to stop Ziggy stealing the turkey. My mum hosted lunch and excelled herself as usual. She does a mean Christmas lunch, and never even looks that hot or stressed, and everything is always delicious. Boxing Day, always a day I prefer, was calmer, with a walk on the beach then home for turkey and ham pie followed by cappuccino pavlova, before watching a film in front of the fire. I got out my embroidered napkins and it was so nice to use them, if only for one meal.
Yesterday, we woke to a dusting of snow. Nothing dramatic, but the first snow fall we've had since we moved here three years ago. Angus was so excited. He was out of bed, dressed and downstairs pulling on his wellies in about thirty seconds, before going outside to walk footprints all over the back garden. His delight was infectious, and I got a kick out of seeing our usual views transformed by the snow. But it also made me sad that he doesn't really remember any of the heavy snowfalls we experienced when we lived in Leeds. I hope we get at least one good snow this winter. I bet we don't though. Sadly, the unexpected snow, even though it was all melted by lunchtime, meant my in-laws left a day early as they were worried about the long drive home.
Today was cold, frosty and sunny, and tonight is supposed to be the coldest night of the year. I spent most of today at home, sorting out presents, putting things away, doing washing, vacuuming, clearing out the fridge. We have more guests arriving on Saturday so tomorrow I need to start thinking about that - planning meals, shopping, getting the spare bedroom ready again, making the house presentable.
Father Christmas was kind this year. New nightwear, jewellery, cookery books, clothes - including one of those fantastic blanket scarves that are so toasty - and a lot of chocolate were all wonderful but my favourite gift is this pair of slippers, from John. Ziggy destroyed my other ones, and I badly needed a new pair. I adore these. They are so warm and comfortable. I did drop very heavy hints - they are from here.
He also gave me some scented soy candles and matches pretty enough to earn their place on the mantel from the excellent The Botanical Candle Co.
I thought you would all like this beautiful print, a gift from my parents. from local shop Winter's Moon. The black background sets of those plant shapes and colours so well.
And this necklace from my friend Charlotte is from a etsy seller I'd never come across before, but I think I'll be looking there in future. Mustard, grey and navy, my favourite colours.
Oh, and Ziggy has a smart new Harris tweed collar, isn't he looking handsome in it?
And now we are entering one of my favourite times of the year. Apart from friends coming to stay this weekend, I don't have a whole lot planned over the next week. There will certainly be walking, reading and sitting in front of the fire. I am almost finished with Bella and Angus's
Christmas New Year's gifts, and we might go to the cinema at some point. (I really want to see Paddington 2 before it stops showing.) I will certainly get out a jigsaw or two and eat up some Christmas cake. But that's about it. A midwinter pause.