Friday, December 29, 2023

Letter from home

Dave said yesterday that he hates the week between Christmas and New Year because it feels like a week of Sundays. 

I love it because it’s the only time in the year when I’m at home when I don’t put pressure on myself to “achieve” something. I don’t feel guilty for staying in bed till 11 am reading. I don’t feel guilty sitting by the log burning stove for an hour just thinking. And spending an hour trying to work out an attractive still life arrangement, and failing, doesn’t feel like a waste of time.

I always thought I hated still life paintings, and then I realised that my very favourite painting is a still life.

And the family’s favourite painting of mine is my bedside table, February 2015. This was a ‘found’ still life, not an arranged one.

So anyway, I’ve been on the lookout for collections of objects at home that would make a good ‘unposed’ still life and so far I’ve failed. 

Did you have a good Christmas Day? I hope so.

I had a lovely one despite the fact that the top oven was on the blink and I had too many things to cook adequately in the bottom oven. But Z kept me steady, and three glasses of champagne certainly helped, 

Photo by Z

and the dinner seemed to be a success. We have meat eaters and vegetarians, which includes two lapsed vegans, and there’s one grandchild with very individual eating habits (he is very like Dave in other ways, too) who asked for a veggie toad in the hole, so the dinner this year was my biggest ever challenge. 

Dave and Tate assembled the magic table again

Photo by Z

and then Dave sloped off to the shed to work on a project that our younger grandson had brought along.

Photo by Z

The best thing about the day for me - apart from just being with family - was conversations I had with my grandchildren, and that includes a 5.30 am texting chat on Boxing Day with Lux (11.30pm her time). She taught me something new to do with my iPad, too, so that was a bonus.

Dave has been busy making reindeer this Christmas. He began with one for me for my “Christmas card” and then he made another and then they began to breed.

Today he is out doing DIY with someone, and it has stopped raining, and for once the wind is a reasonable 16mph and not a gale, so I shall go out for some exercise and fresh air, then cook, then paint.

I hope you’re enjoying yourselves, whatever you’re up to.

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