Thursday, 29 December 2011

Saturday, 24 December 2011

happy christmas eve

it's christmas eve morning. i woke up early, listening to the birds (robins, blackbirds, a song thrush, and the odd gull). lying snugly in bed, i thought i might get up and go for a walk in the dark morning out in the fields, but when i got out of bed - into a cold room and even colder jeans, the desire began to dissipate. and when i remembered that it had rained - poured - all day and most of the night last night - well, a slide through the mud is not quite so invigorating. coffee and snuggles with the hound won out.

later this morning we will go to the big farm shop and pick up our christmas turkey. these farmers only raise 100 birds, and the birds are out in the open all day and only brought in at night (foxes and turkeys do not mix). they hand pluck them and the turkeys are the most delicious i have ever had. we look forward to this bird all year long. all of our shopping is done now so we don't have to face the madness of any shops today, thank goodness. we'll probably have a pint in one of our locals later on though.

i'm thinking of my dad lots today. when i was young, christmas eve had specific and clearly defined rituals. first chores - the house had to be clean and ready for christmas. then lunch (in those days, something to be got through as quickly as possible in order to get to the good stuff). in the afternoon, dad and i would go out together and leave mom alone (at this point, something she was probably counting down to herself). often we'd go to movies, once, i remember, to a science museum. i remember illicit marshmallows, or baguettes and pepperoni sticks from granville island.

those afternoons were the start of christmas for me. when we got home, it was baths and getting dressed up, then a special supper and off to church. when we got home, we opened all of our presents, and for one night, i was allowed to stay up as long as i wanted, and (more importantly) eat as many chocolates, sweets and cookies as i wanted. how i didn't land up being sick late every christmas eve is a mystery, although i suppose there was wisdom in making sure i'd eaten three good meals before the sugar rush.

these days now have traditions of their own, but it's a time of year when yesterday seems closer than usual. part of me will always be hanging out with my dad on christmas eve, no matter how far apart we may be.

happy christmas eve everybody!

Monday, 19 December 2011

how very very british

from the southeastern website:

Christmas and New Year timetable arrangements -

Saturday 24 December – Normal timetable service with early finish
Sunday 25 December – No service
Monday 26 December – No service
Tuesday 27 December – Sunday timetable service
Wednesday 28 December – Sunday timetable service
Thursday 29 December – Saturday timetable service
Friday 30 December – Saturday timetable service
Saturday 31 December – Saturday timetable service
Sunday 1 January – Normal Saturday timetable service
Monday 2 January – Normal Sunday timetable service
Tuesday 3 January – Sunday timetable service

Please note, the days between Christmas and New Year are classed as normal working days, therefore normal peak and off-peak restrictions will apply between Monday 27 and Friday 31 December.

so - normal working days, with abnormal weekend service, at full rush hour prices. classic.

Saturday, 3 December 2011


xmas comes early when you have overseas packages to post. last shipping day to canada from the uk is friday (and even that is optimistic - last year's parcels arrived sometime in the new year despite religious observance of the post office decree).

i'm nearly there - as always i wish i had (a lot) more money and more time, but that is in itself probably the essence of life, so who am i to argue?

the lovely bit comes after the parcels are posted, and it is just us and the turkey. (and the wine and the whiskey and the cheese and the olives and the special cake-slices of nougat from italy and the cheesy xmas films and the new murakami novel ....)

i love christmas

Thursday, 1 December 2011

my journey home

lazy knitting haiku from the fantastic panopticon:

"Sudden Awareness."

Knit knit knit knit wait
What? Damn! Rip rip rip rip rip
Rip rip rip rip rip

mine was more prose-y and not a haiku - it went- gosh, that thumb looks a little skinny knit knit purl knit knit purl etc etc holds up nearly finished thumb against first mitten to check length - that's funny - it really is a lot skinnier - sudden flashback of picking up thumb stitches and the full unbending knowledge that i was supposed to have my 18 original PLUS the 3 picked up, and was only to reduce the EXTRA picked up stitches. which i knew, of course. i sighed, put it away, and left the frogging for another day.

i now have a small pile of stuff i have to fix that i've knit for xmas. it's now bigger than the stuff i have to knit before xmas.

i suppose that's progress...