In common with just about every other woman in the country I have been busy, busy, busy lately. And cold! But this is my beautiful Christmas tree - or part of it - it is lovely to get all the boxes out and greet old friends, like the nutcracker prince and Socks the White House cat and a Black Pete from Holland, the green St Nickolas from Russia, the star from Krakow etc. I usually buy one or two new ormanents (not a typo, that is what my daughter used to call them) every year but last year I decided that the tree is now officially full. But then on Sunday we had our usual party after the Carol Service and a dear friend who is a lace maker brought me a very delicate little lace decoration. Always room for one more!
I worked like mad for the party - 60 people invited but one or two fell by the wayside because of the weather. We have been doing this now for more years than I can remember - 30 or 40 - and people very kindly say it wouldn't be Christmas without the Howard's party to start it off. Mind you, that puts a certain pressure on doing it all again the next year. Anyway, dear Sandra came up from London to help and the minute she walked in the kitchen she started making smoked salmon blinis. When most people had left at around 10 o'clock about half a dozen friends lingered and we had baked potatoes and chili con carne. Then we fell into bed exhausted.
On Monday after Sandra had gone home George and I drove to Milton Keynes to find Ikea. I LOVE Ikea and George hates it. We really are not suited. But William wants a bedside cabinet for his room at Uni and asked for it to be flat packed so that he could have the fun of making it so I siezed the opportunity of a visit. The weather was bad and the traffic slow and Milton Keynes is an enigma but eventually we found it. So that is now accomplished and we had a very nice Scandinavian lunch for about a tenner.
This is part of my back garden looking wonderfuland this is the front garden. Isn't it magical the way the snow transforms everything and you see it in a new light!
Sadly DD2 has just telephoned me to say a young boy bashed into her lovely new apple green VW convertible this evening - it was parked outside the house and he just slid into it. Her personalised numberplate is in pieces but I think that the big rubber eyelashes (YES, I am not kidding) are still intact on the headlights. She has daisies all over the boot - you cannot miss her and quite obviously this young man did not. Poor Sarah. But she said she felt really sorry for him because he was as white as a sheet and had to ring his mother and tell her what he had done! Fortunately he was insured but it is still a big nuisance.
I went out in my car today to deliver the Christmas presents to our Almshouse ladies and the side roads are lethal. I was glad to get home and light the fire, spending the evening wrapping presents whilst George is out at Rotary with DD2's husband.
Tomorrow morning I shall be arranging the flowers in church - wrapped up very warmly! Although we had a jolly MESCH meeting last week with a delicious lunch and I was all fired up to get on with the work for the exhibition at Cottenham in February, circumstances are just against me at the moment - but just watch me fly when all the celebrations are over!