THROW AWAY FLOW

Twelfth night is meant to be the time for clearing away greetings cards and festive decorations. In my book, some superstitions are best ignored.  As I don’t receive some mail till early January, mostly from abroad, my cards stay up longer and the last to arrive are the last to disappear.  Thus, I span the Western and the Eastern festive dates.

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My decorations are the cards people send me.  Switch on candle glow (LED’s) provide an atmospheric friendly warmth.  The little candles (tea lights) have been  tucked away.  A couple of stocky gold coloured ones have not.  They glitter and look quite pretty when daylight turns into twilight, even if they are not lit.

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Tomorrow we have a recycling collection. The bulk of the cards – not the late arrivals – have been sorted between those that will be a keepsake, (just a few) or those needing  some attention. The others, will provide material for recycling.  Our collectors do not want anything with metallic finishes, which includes glitter. Lots of cards have those pretty finishes. The best I can do is to separate re-usable bits of a card from those bits that are not. That was late morning……..

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….Even later morning, I seem to have spent hours sorting out a small area of desk. The quarter truth is, some of the space on the desk has been created by shoving some stuff to the right of it, (probably, should be ‘right off it’). I am trying to be tough on myself…about bits of paper (cringe).  I know it will be worse before it gets better.

Early afternoon……hubs interrupts my bits of paper throw away flow.  “Are you having any lunch?”

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OF SANTA AND ELVES

1.To Sender

A quiet knock at the door at tea time when it was dark, revealed a man dressed all over in red.  He proffered me a box. What gave him away was the electronic signing machine in his hand. There was no doubt he was a 21st century e-Santa.  I think his elves were getting a lift in his reduced sized  square covered carriage. (Austerity measures).   It kept them out of the damp and cold.  e-Santa loved my hat, he said.

The wee elves have been pestering me to open up the box. Being sensitive to their demands, I did so, with the assistance of the large elf who resides here.  Nestling within the box were several beautiful packages. I have explained to the elves that for the time being, the packages will stay pristine and  reside in the big box in which they arrived.  Having found a ‘from’ label on the box, we know that you instructed the man in red and the little elfen people to endow us with this visitation and the gifts.  For this we mightily thank you.

2. From Sender

Glad it arrived OK. Given the way the weather’s been, I did ask Santa to take extra care. He asked, “Why?”. I replied, ” It looks like rain, dear”.

FUN DAY

Fun day is when the festive lights are switched on. It is the day that most of the local shops put out treats for both little and big kids.  A number of shops will give shopping discounts. A raffle ticket may be on offer for something connected with the business, for no more than stepping over the threshold of the shop. I was offered a cup of coffee  and a sweet in an outdoor sports shop.

Reindeers were in a  pen with lots of straw at one end of the precinct. Children could have pictures taken with them. Encircling the pen were  very happy families in an orderly queue.

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Many of the shop staff dress up to a theme. I didn’t guess the Strictly Come (acrobatic ballroom) Dancing  ‘competitors’ in the hardware store, even though one lady looked drop dead gorgeous in a sleek evening dress.

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Cinderella, The Ugly Sisters, Prince Charming and The Fairy Godmother, appeared behind the baker shop counter.

“What can I get you?” asked the fairy godmother.

Me -“A glass slipper please“.

FG -looking  quite perplexed…….”What?”

Me- “A glass slipper please“.

FG -“You’ll have to get Cinderella over  for that…anything else?”

I pointed to a round wholemeal loaf, which FG wrapped in a small paper bag- I love bread wrapped in the good old fashioned paper bag -paid my dues and was offered a free raffle ticket for their draw.

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VARIOUS KINDS OF WAFTINGS FROM ONE YEAR INTO THE NEXT

What have I done so far since the last weeks of 2013 wafted away and 2014 blasted in.

I have felt weary, tired, but definitely not fed up; I am not affected by the long dark days at this time of year. What I am affected by, I believe, is the relentlessness of the festive expectations that are manipulated by commercial interests.

For heaven’s sake, Christmas trees hanging from store ceilings in September, all dressed up with their tinsel and faux parcels!

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This in-store tree in Edinburgh was a  real one, which, unlike others,  was a great feature with twinkling lights, at about the expected [right]  festive time. It would have been wilted and horrible had it been in place in the very warm environment of the store, for around three months.  Perish the thought!

I was pleased our town’s street lights were not switched on until the 7th November 2013. That’s weeks behind the lighting up in major cities. The lights are pretty, a gentle tradition to brighten up the darkness.

 

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Getting back to the frenzied reality, there’s the need to get packages and well-wishing correspondence sent by mid October if you want it to definitely arrive in time for mid December in the Antipodes and the Americas, we’re told, notwithstanding the blatant profiteering of the mail system; the costs of posting anything have soared. There are leaflets telling you what can and cannot be sent and where whatever it is, can and cannot be sent. Added to that, there’s a memory test, you are interrogated by the teller as to what is in the parcels and packages. It is almost like airport security. My gift package of two mini Xmas puddings was checked against an explosives list!!!!

We travelled on Christmas Day, 25th December. It’s rare to share the road with many cars on this day. This year was an exception. People had taken note of the severe weather warnings and delayed their journeys. One of the few businesses open, a Brewers Fare restaurant, was quiet when we arrived before the lunch rush. We were looking for restrooms and a hot drink. The staff were so accommodating, finding a space for us to sit and have cups of coffee, then giving us takeaway drinks for the journey.

On lower ground it poured with rain. Up high, there was some snow; the snow ploughs and gritters were busy at work, we passed four.

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When we returned home, it felt so good slipping back into my own bed for the first time in 2014 and drifting off to a relatively restful sleep.

This week, we have waved cheerio to our liquid petroleum gas (LPG) tank, a garden feature for far too many years. I got to connect the lifting chains.

 

The hydraulic lifting mechanism was a fine bit of engineering. It took quite some time to complete the manoeuvrings both sides of the fence. Once on the lorry in the right position, our tank had to be strapped securely into place. Regulations prohibited the vehicle to be driven off till the remaining LPG was drained out of the tank into the fixed white one on the trailer.

 

 

A morning and two mugs of tea later, (for the driver) a signature on a receipt for the tank’s removal, the job was completed and the driver was off to pick up the next tank.

 

GREETINGS

Calling in to say Happy Christmas and have a peaceful, healthy and good 2013. Hope you all enjoy the festive season. Wishing you all the very best.

Season’s Greetings and a Happy New Year
Happy Christmas,
Glukliche Weinachten und Gutes Neuejahre
Joyeaux Noel et Bonne annee
Auguri per Natale ed un buon anno nuovo
Groten

🙂

A KID IN TINSEL LAND

There it was ready to be used, a roll of double-sided sticky tape – a delicate width, not plumbers heavy duty stuff – and I felt like a kid let lose in tinsel land. Tinsel of all shades had been stuffed into a bag, which in its turn had been unceremoniously stuffed into an overhead cupboard (closet) out of sight of the light of day. Now, I had a new use for a little bit of it.

There were gold trails over the chair where I had placed the tinsel and on the floor, where, as I cut various lengths, the freed glittering golden fronds had fallen. The room almost looked messily festive.

Suddenly, my paper covered parcels were transformed into eye-catching gift wrap, with the assistance of a little well appointed sticky tape, upon which, a golden flare of decorative tinsel sat tight. It took hardly any effort, and seeing the packages come alive gave me enormous pleasure

A KID IN TINSEL LAND

There it was ready to be used, a roll of double-sided sticky tape –  a delicate width, not plumbers heavy duty stuff – and I felt like a kid let lose in tinsel land. Tinsel of all shades had been stuffed into a bag, which in its turn had been unceremoniously stuffed into an overhead cupboard (closet) out of sight of the light of day.  Now,  I had a new use for a little bit of it.

There were gold trails over the chair where I had placed the tinsel and on the floor, where, as I cut various lengths, the freed glittering  golden fronds had fallen.  The room almost looked messily festive.

Suddenly,  my paper covered parcels were transformed into eye-catching gift wrap, with the assistance of a little well appointed sticky tape, upon which, a golden flare of decorative tinsel sat tight.  It took hardly any effort, and seeing the packages come alive  gave me enormous pleasure