Friday, December 24, 2010

A blog post

I have been trying to find the time to write a Christmas - or, rather, Yule - post. I have spent a lot of time pondering what I was going to say - words of wisdom about the meaning of the midwinter festival, the delight of the lunar eclipse on the actual Solstice (even if I didn't actually observe it......)

The frozen beauty of the woods and fields around our cottage, still remaining diamond bright even several days after the snow fell. The sparkling jewels in the snow from the ice crystals reflecting the light from the full moon. Occasional soft hoots from the tawny owls.

The enormous pleasure of piling on hand spun, hand knit garments to keep the cold from toes and fingers, wrapping shawls and scarves around our necks, and burrowing under throws on the sofa of an evening. It has been that cold. Never above freezing in daytime, down to around -10C at night. Today was positively balmy - -2C.

But events have conspired against me. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday we were out and about - teaching, Guild, going to see "The Merry Widow" in Leeds (I do rather prefer the original, somewhat more risque-sounding title of "Die Lustige Witwe"!) and pub-lunching on Monday. And then the countdown to the weekend started, and orgy of cleaning and baking. This was always meant to be a low-key holiday, just us two and my sister. But somehow, the things that I regard as essential traditions take up quite a bit of time. I added to them this year, too, as I have made some things rather than buying others.

So, no-one to blame but myself.

And so, it is done. The veggie sausage rolls, the mince pies, the cashew nut roast and all the sauces and trimmings, the almond macaroons and a luscious lemon sponge are all safely made and suitably stowed. The parcels are all wrapped, and the children have spent the afternoon decorating - both human and feline!

The tree has been tied to the bookcase to prevent disasters, and totally weighed down with lovely new golden globes and stars and "cranberry" bead ropes by my sister. The DSM has festooned the inside and the outside of the house with fairy lights, some of which are flashing hysterically and will have to be turned down after I at least have had a seasonal libation or two. We went through the boxes of decorations all together and selected out the ones we liked best, then distributing them around - one of the nice things about having a beamed ceiling is decorating them for Christmas.

Meanwhile, the two younger felines have found an awful lot to play with in the form of strings and tinsel and int'restin' cardboard boxes (Neelix has simply been sleeping and eating as usual, having seen it all before.) Although Ruby did bring in a contribution to the feast, which we unkindly rejected on account of it being a very dead small rodent. No clue where she found that poor thing in this harsh weather.

And now all I have left to do is the Christmas Eve meal, now traditionally of a side of salmon. It is easy, seems sumptuous and gives us leftovers - what more could we ask? Well, the odd drink, of course. I am torn, tonight, between mulled wine and my favourite advocaat, another tradition.

Do you think I could have both?

Now I am aiming for two days with lots of spinning and knitting, not much of either having taken place over the last week. I have been working on a rather nice hat kit that a SOAR friend gave me, that has taught me to knit ridges, and last night I spent a happy couple of hours on the alpaca and silk lace shawl. (We three had gone over to Magrat's taking a moussaka with us, instead of having a regular Coven meeting.)

All further meal preparation will be shared, as will the clearing up. More family and maybe neighbours may drop by. There is the Christmas Doctor Who.......

Sounds totally ace to me!

However we celebrate, no matter what we believe, the midwinter festival is, I am certain, of enormous significance. I hope that your personal celebration be rich and satisfying, or at the very least a pause in any madness.

Merry, Merry.


Dianna said...

Happy, happy to you too.

I live in the frozen wasteland of central Saskatchewan/ One huge plus for this is the nearness to the natural world. A deer curled up and slept a metre behind my house. I saw the melted circle with dainty tracks to and from and was glad.

The sky was covered with wisps the night of the eclipse so it seemed even more mysterious.

Only seven weeks until I can drive to work in daylight.

Batty said...

We didn't get snow for the Solstice, we didn't have snow for Hanukkah, there was no snow for Christmas... but we're getting a metric crapton of the stuff now. Huge amounts of it, all over the place. Brrrr.

Stay warm!

Shani said...

nothing like a cold wind blowing to inspire and be thankful for handspun.
hugs to you both and have a very happy new year...