Friday, December 14, 2007

Ho ho ho

Ah, thank you so much to my soothingly not-quite-yet-Christmassy commenters. Above you see Daughter 2 with Sirius, who is taking a relaxed approach to the season.

The cold is receding somewhat (though Mr Life has it now, alas) and I might be beginning to feel slightly more festive. The cards are all posted and this evening Daughter 2 and I made two Christmas cakes, one for us and one for my mother. (I follow the recipe – butter, sugar, eggs, flour, mixed dried fruits, glacĂ© cherries and so on, though leave out the salt. “That makes it really healthy,” suggested Daughter 2.)

We collect our tree tomorrow. We always have a real one. I’m not sure whether this is environmentally allowable or not – I suppose it depends whether it comes from round about here or from the Amazon rain forest - but at least it’s not plastic and will presently be recycled into bark chippings. And what would Christmas be without that nostalgic piney scent; that annual moaning sound which is Mr Life struggling (this year, through his sneezes) to make the tree stand upright in its holder; and those sharp little needles piercing deep into any besocked feet over the festive season and for some time thereafter?

In fact, not many people here have trees up yet, as I noticed as I walked home the other day (in the dry this time): only about one house in thirty. So we’re not really late – simply displaying normal British reserve and caution.

Unlike one of our janitors at college, who has been making a real effort to make his house look seasonal. I watched him the other day wobbling around on his roof (and he is a man built on generous lines) to install a blow-up Santa complete with sleigh and reindeer. Unfortunately by the time I took the photos Santa appeared to have been strafed by machine-gun fire from a low-flying aircraft – or at least, he was looking somewhat deflated. I decided to omit him from my (sorry) terrible photos.

As you can see, though, his brother seems to be lying unconscious in the garden – there he is, prone at the back. Still, you can’t say that the janitor hasn’t tried, can you? Even the path is festooned.

As yet we have no festoons, but our hall has now been repapered, Fifi! All systems go for decking it with boughs of holly.
Maybe tomorrow.


  1. Isabelle! You're always good for a great laugh. Apparently my British roots display themselves during the holidays, 'cause we always wait to put up our tree until around now (just got it done today.) I always feel like I'm so late, but it was that way when we were children. You guys are lucky you don't have Thanksgiving -- I think that's somewhat the culprit. People go nuts right after Thanksgiving and it seems to be more and more the tradition to decorate on the weekend after Thanksgiving. Hope you have a good time deckign the halls. And thanks for the catlet peek!

  2. Do you think the Santa lying unconscious in the garden, was drunk or just fell off the sleigh? Or was he pushed, by the giant Snowman.

    I had a good laugh about it, either way.
    Sirius is obviously happy to be so admired by beautiful Daughter 2.

  3. I love the fact the snowman appears to be suspended from a festively-illuminated washing line!

  4. Wonderfull post I love to see the Xmas decoration and I like to know everything, I have not posted my cards yet...I like the Sweet catty! HUGH:)

    Have a smile, Come and look at my blog and see my serie's of CREATIVE alternative christmas decoration. Have a great weekend!

    JoAnn greetings,

  5. Ah. Lovely to hear the walls are papered. Just in time for the festivities.
    I hope you will be singing, something lovely, I will imagine it.
    Wonderful to see my favourite Edinburgh girl there with the cats. Will they have a stocking to hang? I should hope so!

    I'm afraid there is much competition here with the christmas lights. Over in a posh nearby suburb, they rasie money for charity by putting on a spectacle of lights and decorations down the one street. very beaautiful: not so the randoms elsewhere, who must surely tax the power-grid with their flasing santas, deer and snowflakes. Thing is, it doesnt get dark till almost 9pm. Taking the little kiddies out to see them is rather late-night.

  6. raise money, not rasie money.

  7. Planning to get our tree next weekend! Christamas Eve is traditional!

  8. I think I was the first person in our neighbourhood to get a tree - on 2nd December no less!! I do love walking round and looking at other people's decorations. It gets me in the festive mood and your photos have helped (especially the one of Sirius - what a beauty he is!). You have made me feel guilty on two fronts though a) not blogging for a while (now remedied) and b) not having made a Christmas cake this year. But it's probably for the best as I can eat a whole pack of marzipan while "decorating" it!!

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