Sometimes people meet up and do nice things without telling you. At the end of December I discovered one of these groups. This was the view at dusk, in the cove where they meet.
There is a Christmas Market on Cathedral green. The grass is flattened by rustic buildings and baby Jesus has his own, fresh from B&Q, right at the front. This is all a call to spend money, but first I have to take a closer look at that baby.
The relentless grey skies are lighter this week. Time to step outside and watch the cat get stuck up a tree, maybe waste hours trying to get her down with ladders and treats. Or, leave her up there, and follow this list of exciting things to do.
According to Wiccan beliefs, a geranium near your front door is useful for warning you when strangers are approaching. Oh, the wonders of Google. Is the geranium going to bark like a dog?
It is not a good idea to lock a large family of adults in together for several days over the holidays. Especially when the weather is bad, daylight is minimal, alcohol is plentiful, and everybody is nursing their own version of whatever mental illness they got from 2 years of the pandemic. That is why you need board games. They help to channel behaviour by forcing people to do things, and they are Fun until they are not.
The Ancestors were keen on Cribs. A special birth was re-created in a new setting every Christmas, and the decoration box here is littered with scratched and dented remnants of those scenes. It was kind of them to leave us with all this stuff.
It is easy to make a crib if you have a few basic things, feel free to improvise and add in your favourite items.Continue reading “How to make a Christmas Crib”
It is easy to crash into Christmas on autopilot and do the same things every year. Two weeks later you pick through the debris and realise that Christmas is a load of traps, that are easy to fall into.
Suddenly it is dark by 4pm. This happens every December, but is always a shock. Every afternoon we say interesting things like ‘It’s dark already,’ before checking the news about Omicrom, with anxiety fuelled by grey skies and vitamin D deficiency. Stop it. You can’t change the outside world but you can mess about with your home. Go to the Christmas decorations, and see what’s there.
The east winds are biting and the crocuses bite back, stubbornly forcing their way up through frozen earth. Crocuses symbolize a Brighter Tomorrow, which means planning. Time to think about February jobs in the garden.
The winter Jasmine is speckled yellow. A hint of spring, a promise that more splashes of colour are coming soon. But not yet. Storm Christoph turned the lawn to a soggy quagmire and it’s best not to go out. What to do? Make a pizza.
Cold grey, dark grey, more grey. Even blue Monday was grey. Sometimes there is a blinding shaft of low winter sun, instantly lifting everything like a magic spell.
The Heather is flowering. Perfect for lucky posies. The village freecycle system has exciting daily doorstep offerings, with anything from cabbage steamers to vanilla candles. This week it’s busy with everybody trying to Fengshui horrible presents away. I could put a pile of posies out in case anybody needs extra luck, but it’s best to leave the flowers on the bush. They are, right now, what bees like best.
The snowdrops are here. Time to step AWAY from Christmas and the disappointing debris of sherry, stuffing and cold potatoes.
Tried to go out yesterday and maybe buy a couple of presents. Came home with this picture instead. It’s called ‘rainbow on rain’ and reflects the upsetting portal that we are all going through at the moment. Everything is blurry and there is no way of knowing what is ahead. But one thing is certain. It’s time to stay home and make biscuits.
Here is a little Hellebore, the Christmas rose. A useful pit stop for bees, who might need a drop of nectar on a winter flight, and a symbol of serenity. All is well in the garden, with plants quietly getting on with winter. Completely ignored by humans, who are going into a frenzy of ‘creating Christmas no matter what’.
The prickly heath bush has pearly pink berries, as lovely as John Lewis baubles, all ready for Christmas. I’m not. Christmas cards keep turning up and there are two of me here. One wants to send Christmas cards out fondly and the other doesn’t see the point. What to do?