Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Looking for joy

I'm wondering if this feeling of weariness and apathy was shared by people in the run up to the second Christmas of WW2. Somehow I can't imagine it. I'm going to check my home-front-lit and find out.

This is the first Christmas in forty odd years I have NOT made a Christmas cake.

It is the first Christmas ever I have bought mince pies. 

It's the first time I've reached December 15th without making some myself. But I do have a small jar of mincemeat left over from last year and I will be using it next time I make some pastry. 

See what I mean? - "next time I make some pastry" - not "I must do it today!"

My son-in-law Brian gave me some holly on Sunday - which I was delighted with - but then instead of dealing with it, I left it on the bench by the front door and the thing that prompted me to bring it in was seeing a blackbird eating the berries. Now I have this lovely wreath. 

In an effort to kick myself out my lacklustre mood I made a flask of coffee and set off for the river on my bike.

This was the river yesterday - a gushing torrent:

This was the same stretch of river in May, just downstream a little:

I loved the bike ride, and the river, and came home and set to work on a painting that I started two weeks ago and I've made little progress with. This is mainly because the daylight is so scarce and so poor in December, but it's also been about my mood. Once I got started of course I loved the activity of painting.

In another effort to break up the apathy I made myself a new soup for lunch, and it was good.

Last evening we had a power cut and the only thing giving any light was this year's 'Christmas card' from Dave to me:

It's a collection of stars fashioned out of copper wire and it's one of my favourite Dave cards. 

He's such a talented and generous dude, and I'm not the only one who thinks so. He has done so many DIY jobs and made so many things for ZoΓ« and Brian that Brian (another talented dude) made Dave a non-Christmas advent calendar. Inside every door there is a tiny photo of some job that Dave has done for them, something he has fixed for them, or something he has made for them.

It is beautifully made and utterly delightful, and every morning brings a new surprise - a reminder to Dave of things he'd forgotten he'd fixed - the dishwasher, the light switch; things that he's made - the crokinole board, the wooden heart, the garden coffee table, the guitar stand; hard work he's put in - moving the gatepost, breaking up the old path.

Looking behind the door every morning is the most fun we're having in this run-up to anther Covid Christmas. It is such a joy, and so, so heart warming. Bless you, Brian.


Anonymous said...

Dear Sue - same here, no cake, no pies. Things feel constricted, sober - definitely lacklustre.

But your menfolk are showing the way!

The Advent Calendar is out of this world - moving, beautiful.

And Dave's stars...exquisite.

Thanks for sharing.

Thea xx

marmee said...

That advent calendar is the most inspiring thing! I will try copy that for someone!! Thanks Brian and kudos!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely idea the Advent Calendar is. What a great way to celebrate Dave skills and resourcefulness.

Its a delightful wreath.

THE boxes I got down from the loft are still half full, Ive been flinging decorations about in an attempt to create an atmosphere conducive to hurrying up with writing the Christmas cards and consulting about wish lists. Today the Christmas tree was dressed by a critical 8 year old, who was incandescent yesterday that I had started with-out her, so the baubles I had hung, I removed before collecting her from school this afternoon.! Its her brother who is on the spectrum but she has been totally thrown by having mummy working from home again.

I will be interested to see your thoughts re WW2

Jenetta xx

Sally said...

The advent calendar is fabulous! Repaying kindness with kindness, we need more of that kind of behaviour, especially at the moment. Also enjoying your photos and other news.
Christmas preparations are well underway here. Not feeling particularly festive if I'm honest, more worried. But doing it anyway. Tree & decorations don't go up until a week before, otherwise the treeπŸŽ„ would be naked come the big day!πŸ™‚ Just hoping, with ever changing Covid, our sons & daughter will be here 🀞🀞
Happy Christmas Sue to you Dave & all your family. Sally xx🌟

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you for all your comments, everyone, letting me know how you are and how your Christmas preps are going.
This clause from Jenetta made me laugh:
"I've been flinging decorations about in an attempt to create an atmosphere conducive to hurrying up with writing the Christmas cards..."
Thank you for yourgood wishes, Sally.
Love to you all. xx