I love winter. Autumn was colourful, beautiful even but you know you’re alive when it’s winter. Everything about this half of the year seems to go so quickly and maybe that’s to do with keeping busy. E and J both have December birthdays so it’s imperative to think ahead. J’s birthday a couple of days after Christmas is particularly awkward and if I forget anything it would mean a mad dash on Boxing Day. This year we’ve had to split E’s birthday celebrations over two occasions to suit everyone. Tonight we had a family meal and games much the same as Christmas Day really. E has a razor sharp memory so I held back from reminiscing about her early years lest I get repetitive in my old age.
Earlier today we took the dogs to a slightly wooded place for a walk to try and wear them out for the day. It was fresh and crisp and the winter sun was blinding. A freshly cut tree smelled absolutely divine and further on the smell of decaying leaves under foot was wonderfully earthy. M and I have been here, there and everywhere lately running errands such as dry cleaning M’s suits, fixing small things in the house, posting parcels, shopping little and often for Christmas food. This week however, everything seems under control and so the walk was relaxing, with time to just breathe it all in.
Sure enough M did feel like baking. The scene in the kitchen was more mad scientist’s laboratory than pastry chef but the results were amazing. I really do like gingerbread and it was absolutely superb. We had a standard sized gingerbread man cutter and a tiny one. The larger ones are not pictured because quite a few of them were rudely decorated with boobs. I blame M for suggesting we all chip in with the icing set. Two at least were not obscene and were given Spaniel ears, paws and an ‘H’ and ‘R’ on their chests to represent the dogs. Cute but they got eaten first.
I haven’t found much time for whittling crochet hooks this last week but I did find a small block of balsa in my recently sorted craft cupboard and it’s a lovely soft and easy material to work with after the hard, brittle beech. It would be ideal for tree decorations because it’s light so that’s on my list of things to make well before next Christmas rolls round. If I can tear myself away from crochet long enough I could get quite addicted to balsa carving. It’s easy to lose yourself in the process and the possibilities are endless.
I’ve got a couple of chunky crochet cowls on the go at the moment. Neither is quite right so there may well be some frogging about to take place. Whilst I’m stewing over those and hoping that ‘sleeping on it’ will help I’ve started a small amigurumi that looks a lot like a seal at the moment but will eventually become a bear once he has ears. The flecked brown yarn is so dark I’m having to make him during daylight hours only. I seem to go for long spells between making animals and forget how much I enjoy seeing a little character come to life. Like the llama I’m also changing the look of this one as I go and just hoping he will turn out ok. I watched a good film on Netflix recently called Winter People, based on the book by John Ehle. It’s quite an old film and stars Kurt Russell amongst others. There’s a scene with a bear that’s quite distressing but even in the late eighties which is roughly when it was made, I’m sure they wouldn’t have harmed a real bear in the making of the film.
I really should have made Mr Laid Back Llama look unmistakeable Christmassy. When E arrived home from uni a few days ago she examined him hanging on the tree and said, I think I’ll take him back to uni with me because he will look nice hanging above my desk. Never one to be shy about asking, that’s my girl! We’ve agreed that he has to come home every Christmas though and I’m going to make a Mrs Laid Back Llama to keep him company next year.
There’s been an easy going atmosphere in the house, with only a few snappy moments… some from me when I feel too tired and too incredulous to explain something that I feel should be blindingly obvious. Communication tires me out enormously. Some from M when he immediately assumes the worst case scenario before working through the possibilities, like for instance assuming we will have to purchase a new dishwasher because ‘someone’ has broken the door (it was just a bowl sticking out!) Those silly occasions aside it’s been good to have the four of us in one room watching tv or having a meal together. Even the dogs look well and truly chilled out, especially Harvey who waits on the hard tiled floor in the hall if anyone is missing.
There’s a big pile of brown paper parcels and some cheerful red and glittery ones for a small person. The tree still smells of fresh pine (even though it’s drying out a little). There’s a large supply of fresh coffee to see me through the longest days and there’s crochet in wooden bowls or baskets in several places. I think I’m ready for Christmas.