Looking back on last year I succeeded in two out of three, I do weigh less now than then, even if the amount isn’t much and I am also much more sociable, infinitely more in comparison to previous year! The third, well, I have written some, not much, of my novel, and have written fairly frequently for the church magazine in the latter part of the year.

So here are resolutions for this year:

1. It’s been successful every year so I will weigh less at the end than the start, but hopefully a rather bigger less than previous years!

2. To be creative every day, either writing, or drawing, or photography, and perhaps anything else that takes my fancy. Being creative is necessary, I think, for a fulfilling life.

3. To perform a daily act of worship at home. Advent was a great start to this and it must continue. Evening prayers around the kitchen table after tea are a joy for our family.

4. To continue to be more sociable!

Another freezing day! But at least we don’t have any more snow… as yet.

Took G out for walkies in the park anyway so he didn’t go stir crazy in the house! As we were walking through it an old guy started chatting to him, then went to me, “Is he a boy or a girl?”

I said boy and the guy started teasing him about his hair and how it needed cutting. After we walked away G said that he “didn’t mind other people’s opinions” but that he liked his hair long and was keeping it that way.

I got to take some photos and G got to hit the ground and ice with a variety of sticks, and we both marveled at the beauty of the place. Then it was off to the cafe for a chip butty for G, followed by a trip to the loo. Annoyingly, the ladies were closed so I went to the gents to G’s horrified, “But are you allowed to do that?” He took it upon himself to keep watch in case anyone came!

(Obviously I wasn’t using the loo with the door wide open when I took this!)

Then we took a trip to the playground where G went on the new slide a couple of times, before more photos and exploration, after which we were both too frozen to do anything but go home. Cue an argument about how many layers he was wearing on his feet because I said I should’ve thought and given him extra socks, but he had countered with he was already wearing 3 layers, socks, wellies and skin… yes, skin, not something one tends to think of as a “layer” one is “wearing”. Why I let myself be sucked in to that particular argument I don’t know!

Then back home and I was happy I’d left the heating up rather than turning it down like I had yesterday.

Except it’s not just morning, that photo was taken around 12:30pm! I cannot believe how cold it is. On the way to church this morning G just had his hoodie hood up, not his coat hood, and halfway there I noticed frost was forming on his head! On the way home, I made the mistake of pausing to take photographs and so become quite chilled. Took me hours to warm up when I got home. G was fine though as he was playing while I was standing fairly still. I had thought it would be nice to go to the park and take photos with the DSLR instead, but there was no way we were going out again.

So today we did our in town shopping and I think we got everything! How quickly the last weekend before Christmas crept up on us! First stop was posh shops uphill and some delicious cheeses, was fun tasting them and the shop person automatically did samples for G as well! As well as some anchovy relish (for me), mulling spices, ginger cordial (says on the outside can be added to coffee, never thought of that so going to try it!) and other bits and pieces. Then we picked up some Foursquare spiced rum which is supposed to be lovely, two kinds of whisky liqueur, Bruador which we had last year and one called Stag’s Breath! Don’t know whether to look forward to it or be slightly alarmed! And some Heather Cream liqueur. Bought a couple of ornaments for the tree as I usually buy something new each Christmas, this year it was a star that said love in it because this year has been all about love.

Then on to the bottom of town for us to split up and FP and G went to buy my present from G. Then G and I went to get FP’s present from G. Also got to buy some Christmas stocking presents for FP! Fun! Although one of them he had to participate in himself… yes, after 12 years of marriage he will finally have a wedding ring. Mine is a handed down ring and for the ceremony we just used a ring he had or something and we’ve kept meaning for him to have one!

Of course G has been ill the past couple of days so going Christmas shopping with him along was a… slightly trying… experience. He’s vastly more opinionated and argumentative when ill, and unfortunately no less active. Oh how he had to comment on everything… Every. Last. Single. Thing. I ended up looking like such a bad parent. In the final shop I’d given him such a telling off (you know, with the very very small and very very tight voice) and told him he wasn’t allowed to let go of my hand. I thought he was being pretty good, until I looked down and saw that as we were walking around he was punching himself in the forehead. I made the mistake of going “WHAT are you DOING?” instead of telling him to simply stop, and when he replied that he was punching himself in the head because he was so naughty I just went, “Oh fine, yes, YES, you’re really really naughty just continue to punch yourself in the head for it“. Apparently that kind of thing gets you dirty or suspicious looks from people. Who knew.

So last night I put together our new corner desk. Once our larger tv/monitor arrives then it’s adios tv and hello modern media hub! Also means we won’t just use tv as the easy option but actually choose the programmes we want to watch online. Plus, our living room is pretty tiny and we’re looking forward to the extra room.

And so, here it is!

I added the candles because the idea of computing by candlelight amuses me! And just makes it all more fun I think… I shall type wearing a CAPE and use GRAND gestures as I depress each key, to the accompaniment of AN ORGAN!

And what does all this have to do with snow you ask. Well my already aching back (need to get back to exercise) and screwdriver hand were given further work out as FP, a friend, and I cleared the entrance to church and a path at least down the centre of the car park so there will be at least a small break from ice-skating as people try to make their way in. That ice was tough!!

I was pretty pleased that I managed to hit FP’s bottle of Pepsi off one of those poles with a piece of ice! Although he might have been a tad less pleased, it really flew and all fizzed up. On the bright side, I see plenty of incredibly cheap cuddly toys in my future… coconut shy here I come!!

After that it was a trip out to get G’s costume for the church nativity, all hail Caesar! Purple sheet was double the price so got a white one as I’m a cheapskate (and they only had fitted so I had to cut the elastic anyway!), but got a purple t-shirt! Couldn’t do all white, oh no sirree!

So FP had a day off work today and we’d decided to sort the house out, a pre-Christmas clean and get rid of some stuff, re-arrange others etc. Would be much easier and quicker to do with G at school. But last night, relishing the prospect of time together our plans changed!

So morning saw us ensconced in Starbucks, drinking eggnog lattes and browsing a newspaper together.

Was lovely to have uninterrupted adult conversation when we weren’t tired, political, philosophical, religious, and, of course, laughs! After that we popped into Staples to buy something for change for parking (a 10 colour pen for G’s stocking) and saw a corner computer desk perfect for the living room with mucho money off, so we surprised ourselves and bought it!

After parking fail for town we popped to some other shops, picked up cheap candle holder and some desperately needed phones for the house as the ones we have barely work at all now and some assorted necessities. Then had a look in Next Home to see if there was nice fancy stuff for the home and saw a gorgeous vase made of recycled glass but it was massive, well relatively massive, there’s no way it was suitable for our small house! But we had plenty of fun in there, pretending we lived in the display living rooms, playing with the furry cushions that looked like muppets… and generally commenting on stuff!

Then we got a bit of a treat for lunch which we just had time for before picking the boy up!

(I’ve caved on one aspect of Advent, I’ve got out the Christmas plates and cups, too little time to use them otherwise!)

Our First Advent

Not technically of course, Advent does tend to come around on a fairly regular basis! What I mean is that this is the first time our family has observed Advent as a religious time of year. It wasn’t planned, but a mix of thoughts about what Christmas is to our family now, a sermon on the first Sunday of Advent and having purchased a Common Worship Daily Prayer book and lectionary really made me think.

And so we decided to observe Advent by doing prayers at least once a day. With time off school and work for snow we ended up doing Morning and Evening prayers, but for normal time we’ve settled into a rhythm of lighting the Advent candle and saying Evening prayers by candlelight. We’d told G he was free to join us or not, but he couldn’t come or go. As it turns out he’s incredibly enthusiastic! He now looks in the lectionary for our psalm and readings and lights the candles, as well as joining in.

I observe morning prayer daily, either with others at church on the days I volunteer or at home.

Our tree and trimmings won’t be going up until Christmas Eve and there’s wonderful anticipation in that. As much as I loved putting it up early in previous years, by the time Christmas rolled around it had become common place. And we’re abstaining from alcohol and any of the delicious food that is around this time of year. Oh celebrations will be had when Christmas comes!! In the meantime we are waiting patiently and with excitement, religiously, and for food and presents!!


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