Monday, January 09, 2017

On the 12th Day of Christmas

my true love said to me, "It's time to take the decorations down!"

OK, so it was on 6th January, the day after Twelfth Night actually. And it's a rubbish day, because the decorations we put up with such care, effort and delight only a few weeks ago now come down with a totally inappropriate speed and ease. And the house looks bare and cold without the lights and the sparkles and the seasonal greenery. We always regret this time of year. The Christmas brandy sits lower in the bottle, the sherry's almost gone, the beer was finished by the day after Boxing Day, and we only have wine left because we've been too unwell to drink any for ages. The stollen has gone the way of the mince pies - well, half the same way actually, because Grace doesn't like stollen. Philistine that she is. Only the jars of flavoured coffee and bags of crystallised ginger offer hope for a week or so more. Sad, isn't it? And so's the weather. Gone are the days when we could pretty much rely on some decent snow over the Yuletide. Now it's grey rain, drizzle and dullness.

But at least we're both recovered from the flu now, sleeping normal hours without the waking moments of explosive coughing. Grace has eaten two chocolate oranges, so she's got to be feeling better! We've even done some significant spring cleaning - cupboards and cabinets so far. Sad pair! And some garden tidying. All right, so it's only leaf clearance, but it's making a difference.  This time last year, there was nothing like the quantity of leaves on the paths as there is this year, thickly, soggily packed together over the whole garden.
January 2016
And it's good for me to be out in the fresh air doing some exercise for a change. I swear I'm not as fit as I was the day we came back to the house. Now I'm feeling better, I'll have to get back to my exercise routine again quickly, and start eating properly, too.

It's possible we'll spend a few days on Kantara towards the end of the week. Just to warm her up and keep her company really, though there's no doubt we'll enjoy the time, too. There's a few jobs for us to do there. Grace is going to make alterations to the taff skirt, and we've got Colin coming to tweek the tension of the morse cable that he fitted late last year. And it's always good to put our minds at rest with regard to the general well-being of a boat that's been left unattended for some weeks. She's not as young as she was, bless her!
It's funny. I've just this moment realised that I've not even thought about the fact that schools have all returned to a new term now. I suppose that happened last week. This has been my sixth Christmas in retirement, and I've actually stopped punching the air and doing a little dance in celebration of the fact that I'm no longer teaching!

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