Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while will know that, in my flat, I am not overly fond of many decorative objects; I like my surfaces to be largely empty. But the weeks leading up to Christmas are an exception, and I open my personal floodgates in terms of decorating.
This year, I have put up a little less than usual, but still enough to give the place a festive look.
The Advent calendar village is shared between me and O.K. - one year it is my turn to fill it for him, and the next year the other way round. This year, it's mine to enjoy every morning:
The reading lamp above my bed:
The top of my shoe cabinet in the hallway:
Like last year and the year before, my Mum, my sister and I went to a nearby garden center, run by a very nice family, some of whose members are my sister's neighbours. We chose our Advent wreaths and Mum paid for them. In other years, we would have made it more of an outing, with food and drink offered at the garden center as well as Christmas carols played by a small group of local musicians, but it was all banned this year; just put your mask on, enter the shop, browse, choose, pay, leave. It was still nice to see the place all decorated, and I really like my choice.
Can you believe we are already going to light all four candles this Sunday?
There is also a new star in my window, a gift from my sister. It is beautiful, and I have taken pictures of it when lit in the evening, but somehow the picture was not transferred from my phone to the computer. Must try again.
More cards and even a small parcel have been arriving this week. Once again, thank you if you are one of the senders!
A few days ago, one of my late husband's oldest and closest friends sent me a short video clip he made of us back in 2006 or so during a holiday in Scarborough. There were five or six of us meeting at a pub, and friend N. filmed us sitting at the table with our drinks, talking and laughing. It was strange in that this was the first time in 11 years that I heard Steve's voice again and saw him move - not just stationary on photos - and his facial expression change during the conversation. Also, I was looking SO MUCH younger (probably because I WAS!) there, with longer hair and a very smooth face.
N. was hoping that seeing this would not upset me too much, and honestly - it was not upsetting at all, maybe because it's been so long now since Steve's death, and I have found love and happiness again. But it made me smile and remember more of that holiday - I have not been back to Scarbie since, I think. Maybe some day, when we can travel freely again.
Back to topic:
My Christmas preparations are coming along nicely. I plan to put up my tree today or tomorrow, and wrap my presents some time next week. Including today, there are only four days of work left for me this year; from the 24th onwards, I am off until January 4. And the break will be very welcome, as work has been so busy - while much about Christmas is different this year, this has not changed: My clients still come up will all sorts of things they want done before Christmas! Often enough, these are things I have been reminding them of for months already, so there is really no need for all this last-minute rush. But clients are what they are, and they keep my bread buttered and the roof over my head, so I am not complaining - just saying... ;-)