Friday, 16 December 2016
Aah, the end of school. Big happy sigh. The madness has passed. Well, the school-related madness anyway. The last week is a wild blur of chocolate, partying every day, DVDs, Christmas jumpers, secret Santa gifts and more chocolate. You can imagine how it whips up the hysteria levels. I will be aiming to re-introduce some calmness and green vegetables over the next few days. Otherwise I fear we may implode.
Hardly any photos I'm afraid. Just a picture from the carol service and a couple of tree ornaments at home. All I had on my camera. Those eight hours of daylight fly by and by the time it occurs to me to take a picture or two it is all dark again. The carol service was lovely. The middle boy played his recorder and I was a bit sad because he won't be doing it any more. The recorder group played at Birmingham Symphony Hall in the summer and it was amazing. But now the better players have moved up to big school so he feels it's time to stop. There's always something a little bittersweet isn't there.
Have you been watching Ben Fogle's Lives in the Wild? I love to see how different people live. And I'm fascinated to see how people survive in different wild environments. It's great to see how every single thing is valued. No bin collection. No shops. Everything is used or saved or composted. In these days of out of control shopping it's very encouraging to see a different way.
I can completely understand the desire to escape this modern life of ours. The constant bombardment with advertisements, coming at me from everywhere. Phone calls, rubbish through the door, radios blasting in shops, in the doctor's surgery, emails, leaflets thrust at me. Everyone trying to put their message in front of me. Packaging I don't want or need, no way to avoid much of it. I'm being forced down a path I don't want to tread. How do we live a green life without completely opting out? Difficult isn't it.
I was listening to something on the radio earlier about how many Christmas presents are just rubbish that people don't want. Stupid pointless novelty garbage, or other things that they just don't like. The shops are thrilled of course. If Christmas didn't exist they'd have to invent it. Anyway, I didn't come here to rant. I do love a bit of greenery about the place, and of course I've bought gifts for the children. But I think next week I shall try and point us at the countryside and do some deep breathing.
I have barely had a mince pie yet this year (does this explain the slight humbuggery?), although I have found a nice looking recipe that I shall tweak a bit. Butter instead of suet (Mary Berry's idea, it saves hunting down vegetarian suet), orange zest and juice, maybe some cherries. I'd like apricots and cranberries in it but someone doesn't like apricots and someone else doesn't like cranberries. Someone doesn't even like mince pies. I can't remember who. Is it just me, or does anyone else have trouble remembering who likes what? I am always getting it wrong. Maybe I shall just put everything in and eat it all myself. The mincemeat is made by soaking the fruit overnight in orange juice and Cointreau and then putting it in a really low oven for 3 hours. Nice and easy. I'll let you know how it goes. Wishing all a good weekend. CJ xx