Sunday, 13 December 2015
The last drop of light
There are less than eight hours between sunrise and sunset here at the moment. I love it. Sunrise at 8.07am and sunset at 4.02pm. I took the above photo from upstairs this afternoon as the light faded. It was a grey slightly misty day today, a little chillier than recently. I watched football in the morning and I watched football in the afternoon. The middle boy scored a couple of goals which made him happy. He's a defender, so goals are a rare treat. The littlest boy had a go at being in goal in his match and saved a few. His biggest brother claimed it was all due to his rigorous coaching of his littlest brother, ie. relentlessly hammering balls at him as hard as he can for hours on end.
We bought a Christmas tree from the school fair yesterday. I had my annual grumpy festive moment when I discovered that the bottom of the tree hadn't been sawn off properly and had an awkward long strip of trunk sticking out from it which meant it didn't fit in the Christmas tree holder. Cue much huffing and puffing and muttering while wielding a hacksaw in the middle of the living room floor. I was literally wrestling with a Christmas tree. You can imagine what the carpet looked like at the end of it all. I managed it after a fashion, although it was leaning a bit so I've had to prop the holder up in a couple of places with some of the children's paperbacks. Lemony Snicket and Roald Dahl on one end and Philip Pullman on another end. You can always rely on a Philip Pullman. We covered the tree with our usual stylish mixture of pre-school decorations, mismatched angels and every bauble we could get our hands on.
I'm finding the constant media urgings to get more stuff for Christmas combined with news from the climate change conference an indigestible mixture. I never like the wilder excesses of the festive season. Mountains of packaging, wrapping, plastic that will be in landfill before we know it, rubbishy stuff imported from thousands of miles away. I honestly hate it. I try very hard not to contribute to that bit of the festive season, but I know I'm part of the problem. In my kitchen there is packaging that I didn't want, didn't ask for. Gifts that aren't made in this country. Christmas cards with their toxic inks and wasteful production processes. The planet can't support it all.
I'm trying very hard to be smaller about everything this year though. More ethically sourced gifts. Food with less packaging. Locally produced things. I don't mean to cast a shadow over it all, just to think aloud a bit. Over-consumption is nauseating, the shops are making me feel anxious and claustrophobic at the moment. I wish I had a big badge that said, "I'm opting out". Just some simple gifts for the children, a nice meal, some food with friends. A bit of greenery from the back lane, vegetables from the allotment or a local farm. I feel that I'm a long way from that at the moment. But it's somewhere I'd like to be headed.
Tell me, do you have any green tips for the festive season? Anything you're not doing, or wish you weren't? Please know that I'm the last person to criticise or be smug about anything. But I'd like to do things a little bit more sustainably somehow. Any inspiration gratefully received.