T'was the week before Christmas...

And all the creatures were stirring. Especially in the city. Popped into Marks and Spencers the other day to get myself a sandwich and was confronted by a sea of people panic-buying musical tins of biscuits, umpteen packets of festive Percy Pigs* and enough ham to sink battleships. No one apparently considering whether beleaguered relatives (also out panic buying novelty socks, festive jumpers and crackers filled with tiny screwdriver sets, blunt metal nail files and corkscrews apparently designed for mice) actually want the musical tins of biscuits. What will happen to them all after the contents have been eaten? Doesn't bear thinking about but I do wonder what archaeologists of the future will make of it all.

Our social calendar has been full to bursting recently with friend's parties, work parties, random gatherings and family birthdays. So much so it was a relief when one was cancelled last Sunday. Whilst sending my commiserations over their illness, it was all I could do not to whoop with joy. My Sunday was freed up for the first time in weeks! What to do, what to do?

Obviously, to do was to head to the allotment. Also for the first time in weeks thanks to rain/illness
/busyness.

Getting there I felt I should have been depressed at the sight of the site. Everything I've planted this year has rotted away; beaten down by the rain before they had chance to get past the seedling stage, or even sprout a shoot or two. Luckily, from the moment I got the site, I'd decided to treat it as an experiment and not get downhearted over failures. If you're coming from a position of knowing nothing and achieving nothing, it's easier to rise up from it.

And besides, this time of year exposes the colourful bones of the place, which is rather wonderful even without things growing as they should.

We didn't spend long there. Enough to hack back the brambles, finally stripped of fruit and leaves (see clump of wildness above), and dig over another of the beds so the frost and cold can do the work of breaking it down. I will admit that it was kind of disheartening to stand on the ground and hear the leaden squelch of mud underfoot. It's been so wet! Turning over the soil was like lifting a mini boulder with each forkful. I tell myself that means I'll soon have sculpted arms. Apparently this is A Thing all women should want. I merely want functional ones.  

Work is nearly done for the year - just one more day to go. Looking forward to the return in January as our new office will be completed and we'll be moving in. Today I spent a couple of hours painting the newly plastered walls. I paint fast but not well and with so much splash back, the only way I'd have been more covered in paint would be if I'd tipped the pot over me. Colleagues have had a good laugh at my expense. 

This year's gifts are a mix of brought and handmade, the latter involving pomegranate gin, my own boozy mincemeat and little chocolate & peanut butter cookies. Labels have been made for all of them, my personal favourite being for the gin. 

There were also hats for nieces and sisters (including the in law ones) but Thorcat has an obsession with wool - and I mean stare-at-me-while-I-knit-in-most-unnerving-and-unblinking-fashion obsession - and he managed to hook them out of their hiding place while I was at work, leaving himself free to slowly pick them apart with his claws. So there are no hats and I am most unimpressed. Also, slightly worried as he stares at me the same way when I twist my hair round my fingers. Am convinced I'm going to wake up one morning to find my scalp on the bedroom floor. We have adopted a psychopath.

Tomorrow night, we have our annual festive scrabble night, which is exactly like our normal scrabble night but with added mince pies, then my parents are over on Sunday to celebrate my Mum's birthday, even though she doesn't really celebrate it because it's so close to Christmas and we've already had 5 family birthdays in the last month, and our final bit of socialising is a night of Sharpe at a friends. Both she and the Boyfriend are shocked that I've never seen Sharpe (what's the point of something with Sean Bean in it if he doesn't die heroically?), so I'm being forced into it. Chilli has been promised to make me stay. 

There may well be a book post (I used to do these with my old blogs and I enjoyed them) before the end of the year but in the meantime, may your next week be festive in whichever way you prefer it to be. 

Merry Christmas!


*okay, that was just me

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