The first morning of my Christmas holiday and I woke at 6 o'clock! The trouble with regular early starts is that they are a hard habit to break. Not to mind. It gave me the opportunity to enjoy a coffee in the peace and quiet of the early hours. In fact, for longer than I anticipated, Lily didn't come downstairs until 8.30. Unlike me, she clearly doesn't have a problem with being able to sleep late. As a way to get into the festive spirit, I added some cinnamon and cloves to the cafetiere. I can definitely recommend this, it tasted delicious, although I do have some proper festive coffee which I'm keeping until later in the week.
Following a busy few days, I spent much of the morning catching up on those chores that were overlooked during the week, mainly the ironing. It always feels good to get it out of the way. The house has begun to look a bit of a mess, with pine needles on the carpet, Christmas wrapping, cards and empty boxes scattered over the dining table, Nativity costumes on the clothes airer and, since this afternoon, wellies and outdoor clothes strewn across the hallway. I'll need to get it all in hand over the next few days, as it's only going to get worse as the week continues.
After lunch we went out for a walk. I'd been stuck indoors all of yesterday and had been hankering after some fresh air and the chance to stretch my legs. Also, after a demanding week, it felt good to switch off wind down, and relax into the Christmas break.
Although rain had originally been forecast, it stayed fine for the whole time we were out. We went through the fields and around by the pond. A well trodden route, it's familiarity a comfort to us during this uncertain time. And clearly for others as well, given how muddy the tracks had become.
Through the woods and past the stream, the bare trees silhouetted against the sky looked undeniably wintry, a reminder the solstice is just a few days away now. This year, more than usual I'm looking forward to this marking of the lengthening of our days.
This evening, I've been to the supermarket and have managed to get most of my Christmas food shopping. That's another thing off my list, and now all I only really need to do is get the cheese from the farm shop later this week.