Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Five Pictures

The first Advent Sunday is already over. I have spent it at O.K.'s, and although the first snow was forecast for Sunday, it never appeared. Instead, after a rainy morning, the sun came out early afternoon, just in time for us to go for a walk before sitting down with O.K.'s family for coffee, cake and Christmas cookies.

Three years ago, O.K. gave me the biggest Advent calendar I have ever had - an entire village! It first appeared on my blog here, and ever since, we have been exchanging it between the two of us from one year to the next. This year, it is O.K.'s turn, and he has set it up on the stairs in his cottage. I think it looks really pretty there, and hope he will like the sweets and small presents I have filled the little houses with.

The weekend before last, my parents, my sister and I went to a garden center where an Advent exhibition was held. Of course, it was not just an exhibition - everything was for sale, and our intention was to buy our Advent wreaths from there. The family who run the center also had set up tables and benches, there was hot food and drinks, coffee and cake, and a brass band were playing Christmas songs. It was all very festive and nice, and I came home with this small wreath - a bit different from what I usually have, but I really like it on my coffee table.
 
 


Yesterday, Monday, I had to be in Stuttgart early for my regular eye checkup. A big scan of the retina and the optical nerve was also scheduled, which means I get drops in my eyes that affect my sight for several hours. As the train was nearing Stuttgart, it was announced that it would end one stop before the one I actually needed to get off, and as I did not want to lose time trying to find another train, I simply walked all the way. It took me about 25 minutes, and as it was still early, the Christmas market was not yet open and I was able to get through the pedestrian area quickly. Just as I was walking by the bandstand (already or still lit up?), a flock of pigeons rose.



Examinations and waiting in between meant I was at the surgery for about 1 1/2 hours, and by the time I was home, my sight was still not fully back to allow for work, so I did a few household tasks and then went to meet my family at our Christmas market mid-afternoon.



It was not as crowded at this time of day as it is when I usually get to the market after work, and there was still daylight. In the pictures above you can see the two churches facing each other across Ludwigsburg's market square. The one with the two spires is the Protestant, the other one the Catholic church. 

Last year, we went to the Christmas market shortly after my Dad had come home from hospital. It had been our first outing as a family since then, and was very special. This year, we were glad to be able to stroll across the marekt together again; we had food and mulled wine and bought a few items.

I hope you are enjoying the weeks leading up to Christmas, without getting into too much of a rush.

20 comments:

  1. I can see you are really getting into the spirit of Advent with all you are doing. That village Advent calendar is wonderful going up the stairs! Your Advent wreath looks lovely! And I am so glad you were able to visit the Christmas Market in the daylight. The anniversary of your Dad coming home from the hospital will always make it extra special.

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    1. I certainly am, Kristi!
      Next on my to-do list of "advently" tasks is writing my Christmas cards, putting together the presents for my family in Yorkshire, wrapping them nicely and taking parcels and cards to the post office.

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  2. I can't say I really enjoy Christmas any more now that I am on my own, although I have family near.

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    1. I love Christmas and the weeks leading up to it, although for the last few years, it has become less relaxed as I want to see both mine and O.K.'s families and there is a lot of travelling back and forth during that time.

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  3. I do hope that your examination results are good.

    I had forgotten your village post. However it did explain a curious note that I'd seen when going through old notebooks early in the year. I'd ripped it out with other notes I wanted to remember or did not understand. It simply read something like 'Advent houses' with no explanation and I'd forgotten all about the post.

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    1. The results could be better, Graham, but no surprises there. My left eye will never be really "good" again. I know I am in very competent and expert hands with my doctor.

      Good to know your puzzling note is now solved!

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  4. Happy Advent! I love your little Advent candle, with the one lit candle on it. So sweet! I also enjoyed imagining you on your early morning walk when you took the photo of the flock of pigeons. Being outdoors at sunrise in the winter can be very special, especially as the solstice draws near.

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer, and the same to you!
      I would not have normally chosen that walk, but as it is sometimes the case in life, an enforced change of plans (such as this time with the train ending where it shouldn't have ended) makes for something unexpectedly good.

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  5. I also love your Advent wreath and I am tickled at the thought of you filling those little houses for OK to discover each day of Advent!
    I love soft music for Advent, something that makes me happy and reminds me of my childhood- I listen to the music from "A Charlie Brown Christmas"! The music is by Vince Guaraldi and I have read that Charles Schulz had to fight to have that music on there, it is the sweetest kind of jazz music. (And to be honest, the only jazz that I have ever liked.)

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    1. The wreath is pretty, isn't it! The small candles burn down very quickly, but I have bought an extra pack at the Christmas Market on Monday to replace them.
      I must have seen "A Charlie Brown Christmas" as a child but can not really remember it; maybe I should go and find it on youtube so that I know what you mean about the music.

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  6. I envy your Christmas in your neck of the woods - it is so much more tranquil and traditional than in the UK where it has largely become commercialised and tacky. Two years ago we spent the Christmas break in a small hotel in Austria and loved every minute of it. It was what Christmas really should be about. Snow, carol singing, families and of course the celebration of a spiritual event, not a commercial one!

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    1. Tranquil? Not here in town, JayCee! There are throngs of people on the streets and in the shopping malls, and the roads are congested not only because of the number of cars but also due to the many roadworks taking place. At some point, there have been 13 or 14 going on at the same time in our relatively small town of 90,000 inhabitants!
      Still, Christmas is very much what we make of it, and I try not to leave things until the last minute, and take the occasional time out to just spend an evening on my own with my Advent wreath and a plate of Christmas cookies for company :-)
      The Austrian way sounds lovely, too, but I guess it will be very different there as well in a big city.

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  7. The Advent calendar houses look very nice set up on the stairs like that!!

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  8. That's a huge calendar! We've had sunny days lately, but the scirocco is very annoying. The weatherman is expecting rain and storm next week, I hope he is wrong ... he usually is.

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    1. We've had a wet and windy weekend after a sunny week, and in the higher regions of the Black Forest, it was a proper storm.
      The calendar is swapped between the two of us every year, I had it first in 2016. To fill it with nice things and not just sweets is always a bit of a challenge :-)

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  9. I love it, Nice Librarian and Keep it up

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    1. Thanks! I believe this is your first comment here - welcome to my Library!

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  10. The advent village is a wonderful idea and so ecologically friendly.

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    1. We love it, L, and even though it has been shared between us only for four years now, it already feels like a well-established Advent tradition.

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