Hello again! Thank you all for your Christmas good wishes - I hope you've had a lovely Christmas holiday! Our Christmas here at The House With The Blue Door has been a very good one indeed, full of festivity and lots of nothing in particular which has been very restorative. With J back from university, P and B off work for a few days and D and I in the school holidays, our time has consisted of getting up late (bliss), reading, watching TV, chatting, eating treats, going out and generally being rather lazy. The character of our Christmasses has changed over the years as our children have grown up. Of course we no longer read them 'The Night before Christmas' on Christmas Eve (although we do all still have stockings), and they've all gone off the pantomine. However, these traditions have been replaced with new enjoyable pastimes. I have loved the fact that we have all had the time to catch up with each other again, and all three of our youngsters have enjoyed being reunited for the holidays. There has been much laughter and companionable chatting, along with pleasant shopping trips and our annual big family Christmas meal at a lovely country pub in which three generations of us gather together.
In the few days in between my last day of work and Christmas I managed to squeeze in some creativity. I made this wreath with foliage from the garden and berries which I'd bought from a florist.
I love the bright orangey-red ilex berries against the blue-green eucalyptus leaves.
I also crocheted mistletoe brooches as presents from a pattern in Lesley Stanfield's '100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet'. They were really quick to make and, after spray-starching them and sewing brooch-pins on the backs, I added pearly beads for berries.
I had a glitter-tastic experience covering these cones in the sparkly stuff. I was confident I could keep the glitter under control - how wrong I was! It went everywhere. Reminded me of when I was a primary school TA and we made a giant glittery star for the nativity play - such a sparkly mess.
I also decorated a bough of blue spruce for my shed and hung it with tiny baubles and bells, as I've been looking forward to decorating my shed.
Even Miss Blossom dressed up in her festive finery. She does like a bit of sparkle.
Today P and I went to Weston Super Mare which isn't far from here. Our youngsters were all otherwise engaged and we felt the need to blow away the cobwebs by the Bristol Channel. Weston has a large beach which is perfect for long walks either on the promenade or the sandy beach, and the sea is always a long way out, even when the tide is in. When we arrived the sun was shining and there were lots of people with the same idea as us out walking and enjoying the fresh sea air. After several days of being lazy and eating chocolate and crisps, it felt wonderful to feel the cold wind (my, it was cold!) on our faces, smell the salty air and stretch our legs.
It was very blowy indeed, and seagulls hung suspended in the air above us.
As we walked gradually the sunshine disappeared and the sky became very grey.
We ate toasted sandwiches in a sweet little beach cafe as raindrops started to fall, and afterwards we walked to the end of the pier, by which time the rain was lashing at us horizontally. Luckily you can walk the length of it undercover.
We took refuge on the pier and in the shops of Weston for a while and, when the rain had stopped, we discovered a shining sunset over the beach.
The low, glowing light reflected off the puddles on the sand and lit up the horizon.
It was a beautiful end to our visit, and as we drove home we felt very happy to have had such a brisk and breezy walk at the coast. Perfect.
I wish all of you a very Happy and Healthy New Year, and I hope that 2016 brings you much peace and joy