Tuesday 24 December 2013

Candy and the Rocking Horse

'Let's go in and see if we can buy it.'

Candy has sixpence to buy sweets with.

'I'm afraid you'd have to save up a lot of those
before you could buy it,'
says the owner of the shop.

Candy saves all her money.
She never goes to the sweet shop.
But oh dear, one day the extra special rocking horse
 was gone.
She is very sad.

She writes to Santa Claus.

She spends all her saved up pennies and sixpences
on presents for her father,
(three handkerchiefs)
her mother,
(a pot of daffodils)
and Peppermint the dog
(a piece of ribbon to tie on his collar).

On Christmas Eve, Candy wrapped up her presents
and put them under the Christmas tree.

What a wonderful Christmas everyone had!

This year's rather wonky Advent window
based on a children's book published in 1965
and the song
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree.

Monday 23 December 2013

Safely gathering in

Let Christmas commence.

Friday 20 December 2013

You only have to ask

I mentioned to Karen of Cornflower Books on her post 
Observation of the Day,
that I had a copy of Plats du Jour inscribed 'Barbara Pym'
and wished aloud that I could find an example 
of her handwriting to see whether it might be her own.
No sooner said than solved.
She very kindly posted pictures taken here  
and I would say that there is not much doubt
that it is by the same hand.

Folded inside the back cover I found this
advertisement for Lily Brand pastas.

Karen says that she was a keen cook
and an adventurous one too I would say,
because in 1957 very few people were seeking out 
authentic pasta, or even knew where it came from.
This brilliant hoax dates from the same year.

Tuesday 17 December 2013

My other tree

is a fake one with integral lights.
I thought I was a purist and would never
give house room to a plastic tree,
but this one has snuck in
and I think it gives the decorations
room to shine.
The proper one is still in the garage
conserving its needles until the weekend.
There will be the usual tussle with the lights
and the stand and the lopsided branches
but it will smell wonderful
in the cold mornings before everyone is up.

Monday 16 December 2013

Three minutes

from this

to this.

Really it was a stern discipline for me
 to stand still for that long,
while the sun hoisted itself from the sea.
And that is why I have posted all the pictures,
to remind myself when I am driving
down the long road to this place,
stupidly watching the journey elapsed time 
ticking over at each slight traffic queue
and thinking that it has taken three minutes 
longer than my 'best' time,
while cursing the driver who hogs my tail
waiting to overtake,
only to be stopped at a traffic light 
inches ahead from me a moment later,
 that there is just no need to hurtle through the day
as though the hounds of Hell are on our backs.
For what are we going to do with that three minutes 'saved'?
Except perhaps, cause an accident on a blind bend,
or at a jumped light, or a junction misjudged.

The sun will continue to rise in its own good time.

It would be a pity not to be there to see it.

Thursday 12 December 2013

A symphony in pink and gold

It has been a while since I last photographed this view-
these pictures were taken just half an hour apart
this morning.

And only because he co-ordinates so well-
a gratuitous picture of Tall Cat who visits regularly now
and sometimes obliges me to sit with him.

Tuesday 10 December 2013

Displacement activity

 the tree from the
'Christmas Tree Forest', 
set up as usual in a vacant lot 
at the side of a busy road.The sylvan glade 
atmosphere somewhat marred by the urgent sirens 
of eight of those rather sinister black unmarked police cars
 tearing past and jostling all the other traffic out of the way as 
I debated the merits of a Norway Spruce over a Nordman Fir.
The spiky Spruce won, because it smells better
and reminds me of my childhood. The needles will shower
 over the tiled floor and stick in my jumper but I can live with that.
I wrestled the 7 foot netted tree in through the boot and across 
the flattened back seats so that it could nestle 
on my left shoulder for the journey home,
thankful that all available police were occupied in the 
opposite direction. Once home I had slightly more difficulty pulling 
it out of the boot and then had to saw off the bottom two inches 
with a rusty saw and find a bucket of water
 to stand it in. It is leaning drunkenly in the garage,but smells 
gorgeous. Whilst in there, inspected my forced hyacinth
bulbs.They are sulking.A few noodly roots have grown but nothing
 is coming
 out of the 
top. They
have been 
there for
 weeks and 
I'd thought
that surely 
this year they would be ready for Christmas Day.

Thursday 5 December 2013

I'm going to make you a star

I have just discovered origami -
the perfect activity for getting in the flow

while simultaneously transforming a pile
of magazines into Christmas decorations.

And it keeps my hands out of the Kettles* crisp bag.

I used these instructions.

*Still no freebies.

Wednesday 4 December 2013

I should never be left alone

with a bag of lightly salted
Kettles crisps*.
Especially not the sharing kind.

*This is not a sponsored post.

More's the pity.

Tuesday 3 December 2013

A weekend walk

I resent 
the early curtailment
 of each day
but must relent
when it presents
a mild still stroll
in Advent.
Lent by autumn
when it is meant
 to be winter.
This heaven-sent sky,
the main event.

Monday 25 November 2013

The tactah woods

A big surprise in the woods.

In the absence of any actual grandchildren
I have taken the liberty of hoping 
to virtually amuse
(who I happen to know likes tractors),
while she is indisposed.