insert more interesting word for "update"
not posterity



And finally, it occurred to me that I need not brave the chilly studio at the end of the "garden" but use the laptop in the house in order to blog, and so it is.

Well! How did we get over The Christmas? Ours went quite well, I think. We had it at home, and some friends came over, which I thought was amazingly grown-up and together of us. We provided! We cooked brussel sprouts! And gluten-free puddings! I do like hosting in principle. But it is a lot of work and induces neurosis about whether the house smells funny to other people. (Remember when you'd go to a strange house when you were a child? And it smelled funny?) I used to worry about the level of tidiness until I read what Swistle had to say about it. What a sensible woman; I love the quotidianity of her writing. I love the details of other people's lives; the way she captures all that so nicely. I can't find the exact page, (though I rootled for it for ages, enjoying rereading her posts and comments as I went), but the upshot was that to open your house to guests and let them see how you live in reality, not in a humblebrag I-just-knocked-out-these-croissants-this-morning-after-finishing-my-novel way, is a sort of compliment to your friendship, so I just knocked down some abandoned spiderwebs in a perfunctory way, and concentrated on the desserts.

(The cat has now padded in and, purring loudly, has forced herself into the gap between my torso and the laptop, hampering my ability to type. And breathe, come to think of it. I am trappppppeeed. Ah, my little stinky-breathed companion.)

The driving supervision thing continues to be "interesting" though I'd venture to say we might be over the hump. The JB has improved, and I have conditioned myself not to bark instructions. Actually, I find myself talking to him now as if he were a nervy horse. Whoa! I keep saying, and Steady! There is still some florid Kerry-style cursing, mind you, and the distinct impression that it could all go south at any moment. But still, I am cautiously optimistic that we might survive this. The other day he drove us north into the countryside, and I was able to take in the scenery, admiring the bare elephantine trees in the flat fields with their sides all gilded with the winter sun.

So here we are, folks, in this strange no man's land between The Christmas and The New Year.
How are you? I hope you had time to relax?



Hairy Farmer

Yes! Yes! The strange house smell! Absolutely! But I NEVER considered that MY house had any sort of smell whatsoever - because mine smells of nothing at ALL, clearly - until my own father commented that our dogs reeked recently. My flabber was utterly ghasted. And I own more scented candles than I did, much to J's horror. I join you wholeheartedly in your festive olefactory worries!


Your house has only delicious baking smells, HF. Take it from me. Xx

Valery Valentina

So glad you reinvented the laptop, or your use of it.
this holiday is soo relaxing I'm still awake almost midnight.
And that picture of your fireplace is a level of organisation even my imagination does not reach. After not sending cards for years and years we stopped receiving them, and I don't think we spend enough on decorative items anyway. It is hard enough to carry wood upstairs! (and charge the battery of the camera at the same time)
We do enjoy our indoor fires , and even managed to get some friends to feed.
So good to read from you!
I shall write some more on my blog after I finished doing my tax...


Ha ha, I also wonder if our house smells funny to other people.

I love the sound of your Christmas, it is very grown up and civilised. The Mr and I stayed home this year, avoiding the family Christmas and chaos of travel, and it was wonderful. Just the two of us, pottering at home, drinking wine and eating the cheese.

Am glad that JB has progressed with the the driving. If you can enjoy the sscenery while he is driving, then that is a big leap forward, definitely.

Have been thinking of you and planned to stop by to wish you a happy New Year, and all good things for 2015. Lovely to see your post.

PS. Love the fireplace, especially the painting above it.


Oooo, look at that highly concentrated festiveness! I love it. And I'm so glad you had a pleasant The Christmas. I think entertaining is a bit like my hair and face. No matter how hard I try, I can't really dress them up enough that they will actually look polished and sophisticated. Far better to aim for something more, er, rustic. Also, I think in order to make your house look like a movie set you have to have lots of bowls or vessels with weird stuff in them, like decorative sticks or BALLS. I don't want any decorative balls. Heh.

And my house definitely smells weird. I think it's a coffee thing. Not that it smells of coffee, which would be nice, but that the coffee maker leaves a weird lingering odor.


I like entertaining occasionally, but the husband is opposed. And, to me, having his mother over doesn't count.

Christmas here has been moderately relaxing. There has been cooking and baking and napping and watching of movies. No working, though - not until next Tuesday.

Hope your 2015 is free from weird smells and that your cat learns about personal space! Happy New Year!

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