Snippets from the past week:
- The neighbours' grown-up son, who spent his redundancy money on a nine month trip around New Zealand, arrived back home this week. I looked out of my bedroom window at half past six on Thursday morning and saw a tall, tanned young man haul a backpack from the back of the taxi, pick his way through the puddles and smile to himself as he pushed open the gate to his parents' house.
- C is officially Very Important and Senior now he is in Year 5. He ran the book stall at the school's Christmas bazaar. When I picked him up, the deputy head said to me how very helpful and useful C had been, and gave him a big bunch of mistletoe as a reward. Ten year old boys are not that impressed by bunches of mistletoe, but I like it very much.
- A box of Moo cards arrived for me to make into gift tags and cards. I used photos of the holly bushes at Kew, which I took at half term.
- I am reading Ballet Shoes to O for a bedtime story at the moment. It is fanning the flames of her long standing obsession with dance. When I come downstairs after I have tucked her up in bed I can hear the gentle rhythmic thuds of her getting out of bed and pirouetting around the room for ten minutes before she goes back to bed (to read ballet books like these). She doesn't know I know she does this.
- There is a pile of almost finished, handmade Christmas presents on my desk. I like looking at this pile, but it needs to get bigger this week, and it needs more completely finished things and fewer nearly finished things.
- The car misbehaved for me once too often and we have bought a new one. The horror of spending so much money, at a time when I am not working, is mixed with great delight at having a beautiful, new car that doesn't break down on three lane roundabouts and which has an MP3 jack.
- G won a great big, shiny, silver cup at his triathlon club Christmas awards dinner last night. It looks rather wonderful on our mantelpiece.
- C made mince pies yesterday. A batch of teeny, tiny, bite sized ones, plus four big personalised ones. I always use the mince pie pastry recipe from Nigella's Feast as it tastes beautiful, using orange juice for the liquid; it flakes wonderfully and is very forgiving and easy to roll out. Perfect for child chefs.