I like being in church at night. I love the Midnight Mass service. There is something very mediaeval about being in church with the candles inside and the darkness outside.
I have just come back from the Epiphany service - the one service in the year where we use frankincense - and taken down the last of the decorations. The angels go in an old Clarks shoe box from one of the daughters - it is marked 29/11d ! The angel on top of the tree is called 'wide eyed and legless' because she is. The dizzy blonde with the pink feather skirt is a relic of the 60's when I had a very trendy silver tree with all pink baubles and a pink angel.
Then there are all the decorations which have come from travels abroad - President Clinton's cat Socks (or was it President Bush?), a shell from the Florida Keys, two from Russia, Niagara Falls, Prague and so on. I took the Christmas tree down yesterday and started the long process of packing them all away in boxes and then into the enormous hide case which used to belong to George's father.
This one we bought in New Orleans on the Natchez Mississippi steam boat.....
Here are a couple given to me by a bellringing lacemaking friend , a little church from Niagara and
a key from my 21st birthday! Am I mad? and then a little angel made ingeniously from beads threaded
onto safety pins by my Dutch on-in-law's mother ! Now all that is left are the three kings...
and they only arrived tonight so they can stay a few days longer. Actually, the vicar told me this evening that they could stay until Candlemass, but I cannot have them around for that length of time! They'll get dusty!
Each year I unpack all the decorations greeting them as old friends and then a couple of weeks later pack them all away again in their tissue paper and back into their boxes. Each year I say I am not buying any more and each year I do and somehow I find room for them on the tree. I also have another suitcase full of baubles from my mother's tree - how can I throw them away?
I am a sight! I have a lovely black eye and it wasn't George hitting me although goodness knows I give him enough provocation with my piles of fabrics, threads and unread newspaper articles! I have been to hospital to have a small slice cut out of my cheek so they can do a biopsy. I had to have TWO local anaesthetics as the first one didn't work so I am swollen and bruised with a couple of bloody stitches. That was two days ago and it has got to the stage where it is itching like mad but I cannot have the stitches out until Monday. Some people are very polite and pretend it isn't there and others assume I have fallen over! Drunk again.