Ready or not, here it comes. A bit of baking left to do here, which I'll try and squeeze in somehow. I'm not exactly taking a break over Christmas, but working from home means I'm always here anyway and I can be flexible.
The littlest boy and I made a foray into town this afternoon, more for the exercise than anything. We went to the garden shop for tasty dog snacks. The high street was really quiet. It was closed to traffic early on in the pandemic, which has upset the retailers because of the loss of passing trade. I'm hoping there won't be any losses of the independent shops.
A friend of mine has just opened a plastic-free shop, which is pretty brilliant. An antidote to the horrors of festive packaging.
I have a couple of little outings planned, but some of the things we usually do and places I wanted to take the urchins are in different counties, and we're surrounded by lower tiers, so we'll no doubt be staying closer to home.
I've been enjoying walking about the place on these short, dark days. I love midwinter, in particular that last hour of daylight which always seems so magical. Walking home, with lights going on in people's houses, having somewhere warm and dry and cosy to go to, it's such a good feeling. The dog has been less impressed with getting wet paws three times a day, but no doubt he'll toughen up.
On the subject of toughening up, the middle boy made me laugh earlier today. We were talking about the different years at school no longer mix and how it's all one-way now, so there is no more shoving of Year 7s (the youngest ones - 11-12 year olds) out of the way in the corridor in brutal fashion. I felt they wouldn't be properly toughened up. He said they also wouldn't learn proper respect for their elders. On reflection, perhaps an entire tradition will be completely lost. When they get to years 10 and 11, will they instinctively know to knock the smaller people flying? Or will they be all polite and well-mannered? It could change the whole basis of civilisation.
Anyway, I shall stop blithering and wish you all the very best for the season. Any festive baking to be done your way? I need to knock up a nice nut roast for the vegans/vegetarians and a vegan chocolate pudding for the vegans/people who don't like Christmas pudding, then I feel I must be just about ready. There is food in the fridge (or at least, there was yesterday, which isn't necessarily quite the same thing), the dog has a good variety of snacks plus an exciting new flat squirrel toy to play with, in lieu of an actual squirrel, as they've proved devilishly tricky to catch, and just one door left on the advent calendar. It is a Christmas at the Palace one, and if the last big double door at the front of the palace does not reveal the Queen and a whole bunch of corgis I will be mightily disappointed. I will let you know.
Have a lovely day, and see you on the other side. CJ xx