A good Christmas
Despite Christmas being a bit of a last minute emergency affair for us this year, it turned out to be a very good one. It was a last minute affair because we had been intending to go to my MIL’s this year, but she lives up North, and when the roads were bad with the snow it seemed a good idea to cancel rather than risk the journey. Our central heating and hot water boiler had also chosen the week before Christmas to pack up and we were afraid of the house freezing and the pipes bursting while we were away. So on 23rd I had to dash out and get ingredients for a Christmas dinner here.
At that time I had a stinking cold and by the time I got home from the supermarket I was so exhausted I put the bags on the floor and collapsed for several hours, only to remember far too late that I had bought ice cream for afters for my (strange) family, who don’t like Christmas pudding. For a moment, they seemed tragically doomed to be puddingless on the day. But then my eldest decided to make apple and raspberry pie. Which made my youngest decide to make her signature dish of pineapple, kiwi and raspberry crumble. Phew, I thought, we’re sorted, and then my husband came home with Sticky Toffee Pudding. Then there was a knock on the door, and it was our neighbours, who had made more Trifle than they could eat and thought we might like half of it. (They wanted to trifle with us.) So it turned out to be the Christmas of Pudding after all.
I got a wooden pennywhistle, which claims to be an English flageolet, although it has all six holes down the front rather than two on the back. Regardless of its claims to flageolet-dom, it has an infinitely more beautiful tone than the Clarkes’ Sweetone I’ve been learning on, and I love it. I also got an 18th Century straw hat, which reminds me that I still haven’t started making my posh kit. Trouble is that I tidied all of the sewing away to make the place presentable for Christmas, and I don’t know where I put anything.
Today my husband’s side danced by the side of the frozen river in Ely, thereby ensuring that the sun will continue to come up for the rest of the year. Then we celebrated their achievement in the pub. So it’s been a good Boxing Day too.
Voyage of the Dawn Treader was the weakest yet of the Narnia films. I think they try hard to take the magic out of the books and replace it with action, and as that book had no real battles at all, they struggled. They also streamlined the story and turned it from a travelogue and personal quest into a more typical action movie ‘save the world’ feature, and I thought it suffered.
On the other hand, on Josephine Myles’ recommendation, I downloaded Harper Fox’s Driftwood, a contemporary m/m romance set in Cornwall, and I really enjoyed it. It’s grim and gripping and sensuous and beautifully written and I second the recommendation unreservedly.
Also, why is no-one talking about how good the Dr.Who Christmas special was? I am now completely won over by Matt Smith’s 11. He’s the closest modern version yet to the Doctor as I remember him from my childhood. Not a tragic lonely god, who’s some kind of uber-hero (with the big swelling melodramatic music and the OMG manpain seriously, stop hurting him because it’s getting boring that got so damn old by the end of 10’s tenure.) Instead, he’s someone very clever and not completely au-fait with humans, even though he likes them, who tries to help in the situations where he finds himself and enjoys himself while doing it. Thank God for less hero-worship and more wordplay!