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Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Festive stuff

Since I'm spending this festive season at home for the first time in years, I decided I wanted a tree. Since I never get the point of killing a living tree to stash the corpse in my lounge (not to mention the mess as it sadly sheds needles all over the place), I decided fake was great.

It arrived Saturday. It's short, black and slightly lop-sided. It has built in lights and runs off a battery pack, so I won't add to the electric bill which is a very good thing - if I could figure out how to generate my own power in a rented flat, and fork two fingers up at the utility company, believe me, I'd do it - and my cousin has sniggered at it ever since. I love it.

Last Sunday we headed up to HobbyCraft. They've just opened up a branch in my little town, which bodes ill for spare money in the future. I ended up under-spending on my budget, which was a first for me, so I left feeling slightly virtuous. I grabbed some cinnamon sticks and a twig wreath base, and some pop-up glitter stickers which I think are actually for cards, and I made my own little Yule wreath:



Despite the fact that I ended up discovering why my mother never let me play with glue much (I had a butterfly stuck to my ear at one point. No idea how. They have sticky pads, and I swear I never put it near the blasted staff.) I reckon it came out quite well. I got the little berry bundles from the cheap shop across the road because it just needed a touch of something, and stuck them through the twig base. Then I sprinkled it with a few drops of essential oil - clove, cinnamon and orange - and it's now on top of my little dwarf tree:




I'm going to wrap a box in some bright paper and stick the tree on it, so I feel a little less like Alice in Wonderland when I stand next to it.

I've got my eggnog ingredients and my meat pre-cooked, so all I'll need to do is fix the gingerbread sauce and vegetables on the day.


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It was snowing this morning - no photo's of that, because I was too busy trying to find my ice-grippers (no idea where I put them). I hauled out the snow boots and used those, but because I'm utterly useless at walking on snow, the normal 7 minute walk took me nearly twenty. On the way to the train station I got passed by two little old ladies (one on a walker), and elderly gent who appeared to be wearing slippers, and a guy walking his dog. I'm pretty sure the dog was laughing at me.

I still did better than my first year of navigating the snow in London, which consisted of:

1) Lurch
2) Swear a bit
3) Wall
4) Lurch
5) Lamp post
6) Wander how the hell everyone else is doing this?
7) Lurch
8) Postman

Thankfully it was the first day of snow that year too, and the Postie took being dive-tackled at waist-height by a shivering, swearing, apologetic South African rather well. He picked me up (after some persuading - by this time I was hugging his knees and whimpering), and got me to the edge of the road, and rather sweetly explained that I needed boots with a decent tread in them.
 
Today, all I kept feeling was walker-envy.

The commute was horrendous. By the time I got to work I had been snowed on, stood on, and dive-bombed by a pigeon, all of which equalled one grumpy little worker growling at her PC this morning. The trip home was slightly better, apart from the kid that had an accident in the carriage on the way home. (Said accident being of the unbelievably smelly variety. Which he announced, by screaming, just in case everyone's nose was malfunctioning.) Unfortunately, this occurred three stops from where I had to get off, and the now squalling toddler was headed to the same station. I've rarely been so grateful for fresh air, never mind how cold it was.

The snow had totally melted so although the pavement was cold, it was navigable, and I got home, discovered that fried cauliflower is bloody amazing as a hot-dog topping, and defrosted in the bath.

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Next post: I'm going to do a round-up of some of the best books I've gotten my paws on this year, and some of my own book plans for 2013.