Here we are at the end of another week. I’m not quite sure how we got here – the days are slipping by at an alarming rate and I still have rather a lot to do before Christmas. Everything is a bit like running through treacle at the moment – motivation, inspiration, exercise… but I’m trying to push on and keeping chipping away at things.
Last weekend we had a touch of the stormy weather in East Anglia, and the boys and I went for a very windy walk at Wicken Fen with my parents.
We then drove on to Anglesey Abbey and had a sneak peek at their fabulous Winter Lights. We’ve left it too late (again) to get tickets for the Winter Lights event, but we arrived at about 3pm and the skies were already darkening – dark enough for us to enjoy a little hint of the magic.
We also visited the house where the National Trust have re-created the most fabulous 1960s Christmas in the service wing of the house, which is not normally open to the public. Frustratingly I had a camera failure whilst there so have no photos to share with you. But imagine hot cheese straws, paper bunting and lots of cosy fires. It was wonderful, and I’d actually quite like to go back this weekend, decent camera in hand.
Meanwhile, James had chosen then stormiest weekend imaginable to visit the Isle of Man, which sustained dreadful damage thanks to Hurricane Desmond. Gale force winds, roads and bridges washed away – even a whole double-decker bus caught in collapsed road. Fortunately he managed to fly back once the storm abated on Sunday. My heart goes out to those hit by storm damage at this time of year.
On Monday, I had a lovely crafting session making some simple homemade Christmas cards. I particularly enjoyed making the snowy trees. You may be disappointed to hear that I resisted the urge to add glitter in the end, but I might help the boys make some slightly less tasteful ones this weekend. True to my classic disorganised style, I’ve made cards but haven’t posted a single one yet.
As I mentioned earlier, the darker days are making it harder and harder to feel energetic and inspired. I’m feeling more and more tired and unmotivated as the days go on. In a bid to counter this I’ve been trying to exercise more this week. I’ve managed two runs and a swim, plus my usual walking. Everything aches, but I’m hoping something will change next week. All I know it that the more I sit around, the worse I feel. I tried a couple of new routes for my runs and it’s always great to be rewarded with a heart-lifting bit of sunshine.
On Wednesday the Christmas merry-go-round got into full swing with Tom’s nativity play. The poor boy had already performed it several times by the time it got to our turn to go in (it’s a nursery and reception combined extravaganza). He was a servant to a king, and did very well – despite his irritation that he didn’t have a bigger role!
Although the festivities are ramping up a gear at school, we’re still managing to keep a lid on things at home. We’ve not decorated yet, and that’s the way we like it! The boys don’t seem to mind so much either this year, and we haven’t had any pestering. I think that now they’re older they appreciate that this is how we do things. I know the waiting will make it all the more special for them too.
This week has also has also been about:
Drinking… Baileys. James bought a giant bottle back from the airport and it’s just been so tempting.
Listening… to a delightful little radio programme featuring children’s author Shirley Hughes. It’s all about her memories of teenage dances during the Second World War. It’s only half an hour long, and an altogether soothing one at that. Listen to it here.
Reading… The Jewel Garden by Monty and Sarah Don. I’ve read this before, but re-read it this week. It’s described as a story of ‘despair and redemption’ and is essentially a memoir about the collapse of their jewellery business in the late eighties, and what happened next. You don’t really need to be particularly interested in gardening to enjoy this (although it does help a bit). It’s beautifully written and I highly recommend it.