Saturday, 3 December 2022

A Crafty Morning

Lily and I enjoyed a lovely morning at our local Wildlife club session. We created some sparkly pine cones for our Christmas tree, painted cards with added bark embellishments, and cut out paper lanterns. It was our last session of the year, so I'm glad we were able to attend, even though Lily had spent the previous night coughing and had been quite restless. Despite feeling tired, she had insisted we still attend, and it was lovely to see some familiar faces and wish them well for the festive season. 

This afternoon, I went into town and managed to make some more progress with my gift shopping. However, I must make sure I get the last of the items on my list sooner rather than later. I have a habit of reaching this stage in my preparations and becoming complacent, when in fact there is much more still to be done. And please don't worry that I am putting unnecessary pressure on myself, I just don't really enjoy shopping - at any time :)

J. X



Friday, 2 December 2022

Lists, Lights and a Latte

This evening, I spent a short while writing out some lists. This will have one of two outcomes. I can either feel incredibly organised and smile smugly to myself as I cross things out once they have been accomplished, or I will put unnecessary burden upon myself, then end up feeling stressed and wrung out. I will feel quite satisfied if I can achieve somewhere in between. I am one of those people who needs to feel under some slight pressure in order to get myself motivated enough to do anything, and I do love a good list, especially at this time of year. And for those of you who take a far more relaxed approach to your celebrations, please let me in on your secret :)


Prior to my very essential list writing, we took a trip out to see some Christmas lights at a nearby National Trust property. 


The pretty display is new this year and is combined with the later opening hours of the gift shop and cafe, which I took full advantage of. 


I now have another gift which can be crossed (smugly) off my list. I also enjoyed some delicious hot mulled wine AND a Gingerbread Latte! 

J. X


 

Thursday, 1 December 2022

December

 


Here we are again. It is the beginning of a new month and what is, in this house at least, the official start of our countdown to Christmas. If you have been reading here for a while now, you will know I have, for the last couple of years at least, posted a little something each day during December, and I would really like to continue this tradition if I can. I love having this reminder of my days throughout the month. The reassuring comfort in the familiar, and also the joy in discovering new ways of celebrating the festive season.

It is still a little too early for us to put up our tree, but this evening I added a few decorations to the mantel and some bright fairy lights now surround our new wooden advent calendar. I had originally intended to buy one of those candles, which can burn down a short amount each day.. However, with very limited choice, I decided this would be a far more suitable option instead, especially what with Boo running around and wreaking havoc :) It is a lovely, simple design and the little star on top gets moved along each morning right up until Christmas Eve. The chocolate filled stockings are hung below the ledge, just above the fireplace.

It has been a gentle start to the month. This afternoon I was helping out at the village Warm Space initiative, where my home made sticky ginger cake was much appreciated, and where I enjoyed plating several games of dominoes. I won best out of three, although I have been challenged to another match next week. How could I refuse! I think this time I'll bake mince pies.

J. X


Wednesday, 30 November 2022

First Frost

It was a pleasant surprise to wake up to more seasonable weather yesterday. Overnight we had received our first real frost, and during my journey to walk I felt quite spoiled, being able to enjoy the quiet of the morning. The sky was clear and bright and the surrounding fields sparkled in the sunlight. A welcome change from the mild damp days we have been experiencing in recent weeks. 

Thank you so much for your kind messages regarding Mog. I am pleased to say she is completely recovered now, and back to her usual self. Even my 5am wake-up calls have been re-established! I must admit, I had been quite concerned to begin with, as until this recent setback, she had never previously shown any signs of illness. Not bad going for over seven years. And Boo appears to be growing bigger by the day. He really is the sweetest, most affectionate little ball of fluff. 

And I'm also feeling much better now. It turns out there was a virus doing the rounds at work, and thankfully I got off lightly compared to most.

Looking back, November has been a quiet month, and if I'm being honest it felt as though I had wasted some of my days. In hindsight, I think I needed this time to pause and reflect. Looking ahead, December is going to much more busy. I am still not feeling as prepared as I would like, but I hope I might be making some headway after the weekend. 

This evening, I've hung Lily's Advent stockings and tucked a festive, foil wrapped chocolate into each one. Whilst doing so, I whispered a grateful thanks to last year's me, who clearly decided it would be a far better idea to leave each individual stocking firmly tied to the garland, and saved this year's me an hour or so of unnecessary faffing. A small win, but a win nonetheless :)

J. X