|My first ever Christmas wreath!
Tuesday 18 December 2018
Christmas is an elaborate production. The sheer brilliance of it is that everyone collaborates in one way or another - whether that's buying presents, sending cards, or perpetuating the magic of Santa. The festival is one massive, co-ordinated effort across the nation and most of us opt in without even questioning it. The results are spectacular: from the gorgeous lights illuminating our town centres to crazy knitted jumpers, Secret Santa, fairs, parties and the decorated trees adorning our homes.
As each year passes, I get more practised at keeping my end up. I now have processes in place (start the cards early; book online shopping slots in November) to make life easier. I know what's expected and I deliver. It helps that it's the same show every year because - let's be honest - I'm not much of an innovator. I follow the time-honoured plan and streamline efficiencies where I can.
Tuesday 4 December 2018
A friend and I were discussing what I should buy her little girl for Christmas. We hit upon Lego. "Friends Lego, the pink stuff?" I clarified nervously. She grimaced apologetically: "Yes, I think she'd like it. It would make a change from all her brother's kits." We both experienced that twitchy, self-correcting thought - in this 'woke' world of new feminism, should we really be buying our girls pink Lego?
The fact is my daughter enjoyed her pink Lego back in the day and I suspect this little girl would too. I'm guessing the 'Friends-themed' Lego range wouldn't have expanded as quickly as it has, if it didn't sell. The treehouses, camper vans and art studios, all decked out in pastel shades, are clearly designed to appeal to a feminine sensibility. Heck, I probably would have loved Friends Lego too as a child, had it been around then.
|Are pink roses just for girls?
Tuesday 20 November 2018
|What secrets does our house keep?
Credit: William Lam
Metella and her slave Grumio visit the fish counter at Waitrose. Ever mindful of landfill, Metella brings her clay cooking pot to carry the fresh salmon home, but on the way back to their villa, naughty Grumio drops his mistress' pot and it shatters on the ground... Heu!
Wednesday 31 October 2018
Something struck me the other day. I could be halfway through my life (assuming there are no unforeseen accidents). Not so long ago, I celebrated my 45th birthday and judging by my grandmother's longevity, I could have nearly half a century left. I've reached a tipping point. All of a sudden, the next 45 years feel rather precious.
Usually, I wake up on my birthday and think, oh bugger, another year older! How did that happen? This time, I lay in bed feeling a little overcome. It's like I've reached the top of the hill and now I'm about to free-cycle down the other side.
|A bit of a milestone!
Wednesday 10 October 2018
Two themes are dominating my notebook this week - literary festivals and our imminent move to a new house. In amongst pages of removal quotes and a transcription of my conversation with BT about changing over our broadband, are my notes on the Henley Literary Festival and the Cuckfield Bookfest.
As ever, our local lit fest in Henley offered up a smorgasbord of knowledge and current affairs. A highlight for me was attending a session by my fabulous friend, Cathy Newman, who was promoting her new book, Bloody Brilliant Women.
|Cathy and I celebrate with a glass of fizz
Tuesday 2 October 2018
|Closing the door on the past