Tuesday, 24 December 2013


We are past the shortest day - Hurrah!

BUT for the next two weeks the mornings continue to close in - some thing to do with a wobbly earth - Boo! 

We have flickering lights in the Magnolia stellata - somewhat appropriate? 

The photo shows the moon making a brief appearance through the rainclouds and the big sycamore. The yellow glow is Ulverston and its street lights a mile away.

However now the weather is atrocious with gales and pouring rain - no white Christmas for us this year.
The feeders are unpopulated with the birds sheltering where they can. 

Children have been, some have gone, driving south into the storm. These are truly the dark days (and wet). The stream in the garden is roaring and the pond is full of muddy water.

There is not much one can do but nip out, feed the birds and pick up sticks for kindling.
Well, not really true - one can have a mug of something hot (or a glass of something?) and a nibble. R loves garlic sticks from the Health Food shop - all fat and spice. Do not sound very healthy but are the best (and cheapest) in town.

It looks like the amaryllis will be open on Christmas Day - every time I look the buds have spread - but the white orchid had decided to do the dirty and the flowers are falling.

One thing in the garden that delights me at this time of year is the symmetry of waiting rosettes.
This is a teasel and the lower picture a euphorbia.
That reminds me to mention that the stinking hellebore is in bud and will flower soon. The winter honeysuckle and sarcococcus are out and, I presume, wafting the winter air with scent. The trouble is the persistent wind blows it away before it can get up my nose.

And we will have a table posy - roses and calendulas, alstromerias and such on the 25th.

Now, there is an intro - there are times when the peripheral hoo-ha of the festive season gets up my nose. I love to see family and friends but the organisation required to do cards and presents and then buying too many luxury foods and drinks mean the January diet is threatened and, and, and . .
If it was one big day - okay, if it was one or two parties and so on - okay, but it starts in July (or earlier). Perhaps they should ban all mention of anything until the week before - make it illegal.
SCROOOOOOOOGE!!!! I hear. No, not at all, give generously but if I have to hear Brenda Lee's, Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree once more - !
Actually her recording of I'm Sorry c/w That's All You
Gotta Do was the second 45 I ever bought.

Perhaps we should have a manure party and hire several wheelbarrows. There would have to be drinks AFTERWARDS though or the stuff would be spread everywhere and I would then spend a month clearing up.
So, it is, after further thought, better to spread good cheer (though that does not do much for the rhubarb).

Before I end - a confession - I have been known to put my foot in it. Once a rather large lady came to the surgery to see me at Christmas and told me that she had put on three and half stones (22 kilograms). So I naturally replied, "Well, we better have it off in the New Year then."
Silence for a minute, the consultation went on and she left.
My door was open and obviously she had told the whole of the reception staff, overheard by the full waiting room - the laughter was humungous.
Swallow, pretend nothing happened, smile vacantly at the next patient - aaaaagh!

Thus, finally, to my one reader - yes, you - have a good Christmas, New Year, and all the other days. 2014 coming up, I can hardly believe it.

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