Friday, 27 December 2013

what day is it again?

I have lost track of time.

It always happens around Christmas time, when everybody is off work and school. Funny, never at any other time of year, not even during the long summer holidays. I spent so much time in my favourite seat that I find it difficult to heave myself out of it. It is perfectly moulded to my shape and I fiercely defend my right to sit in it. The armrest is wide enough to place cups of coffee or G&T's on it, depending on the time of day. My armchair is perfectly placed in the living room to watch the kids unwrap their presents (or should I say savagely rip the paper off the gift as fast as possible?), play on the rug, admire the Christmas tree, look out of the window, gaze into the fire, watch the telly  observe Richard having a snooze on the sofa opposite and knit. I have been working on a hexagon blanket that has been a WIP since October 2011. It is still not finished unfortunately (but more of this another time).

The past few days have been very enjoyable indeed. My mum was here for Christmas and now, my brother and his wife have joined the party. Apart from the usual teenage gruff and the occasional "toddler" hissy fits, all has been peaceful. As peaceful as it gets with four kids that is. A random onlooker would probably see a different picture (mayhem?). I think I am just good at blending the madness out and just see and hear what I want to see.

During the holidays, I enjoy staying up late, on my own or with Richard, enjoying the peace and quiet at the end of the day. Mornings are slow and enjoyable. It is so dark here at the moment, the little ones have been sleeping longer than usual and when they wake up at around 7, James usually sends Alistair to our bedroom to ask if it is morning time yet. It is not of course...and I don't even feeling guilty about the fib, the boys go back to sleep or have discussions about the world as they experience it and the tooth fairy.
I actually had to set the alarm clock to get the bin out on time today. The bed was still warm when I crawled back in.

That is of course not true for Christmas day but it was the biggest kid of all, Sam (13!), who woke everybody up just before 6. He gets so exited about Christmas that he can't sleep the night before and even though he is very firmly in the grown up camp when it comes to all things Santa for 363 days of the year, the night before Christmas, he suddenly reverts back to a younger age. Sweet. I don't quite get the whole Santa business (I grew up without!) and quite frankly find it a bit silly but I try to go with the flow and not spoil it for everybody else.

For the kids, Christmas is about presents mostly. We are a non religious household on the whole but we have a keen interest in understanding religious beliefs and associated traditions culturally. It is not easy to counter the messages in the myriads of adverts the media shout out from October onwards. The non denominational Nativity plays and Christmas carols our primary school organises don't help but I do try my best to explain and discuss what I know and what I think. This morning, when we went for a cup of tea at my friend Jane's house. We were talking about Christmas with our teenagers and I was pleasantly surprised to hear Sam talk about the meaning of our Christian Christmas tradition and the pagan traditions which are so intertwined with it, leaving aside the usual teenage scorn for all things serious for once. I am doing okay after all as a mum I think.

I love the festive period because we have time for each other and also time for ourselves. It is a time full of warmth and joy and light. Fairy lights in our case rather than day light. There is much fun to be had, too, a and there is always a good dose of silliness and not so funny but oh so funny kiddie jokes.

We also love to cook and bake, together sometimes, sometimes enjoying the relative peace of the kitchen alone. Needless to say that we all love to eat, too. We enjoyed a most excellent beef Wellington for our Christmas dinner this year, with roast root vegetables, peas and Yorkshire puddings. This was followed by Annie's pavlova topped with steamed cinnamon apples.

It is also a relaxing time. There is no rush to put the breakfast cereals away, or to get dressed and it is ok to eat Christmas dinner with the sporks Santa put in the stockings.

The miserable weather did only reinforce this slack attitude of ours. I did go out every day but the rest had to be coaxed out with promises of fun in the park, followed by tea and cake back home. On Boxing Day, I did convince the three younger ones that the outdoor gym down at the river Kelvin was  just the right thing to visit, fun and absolutely worth getting wrapped up for. It was the one day when there were no gale force winds and rain lashing down by the bucket full.
And now, another day comes to an end. I am happy, warm and full of cheese from my favourite cheese shop on Byres Rd, George Mews. I hope you are having a lovely time, too. Cx


  1. It sounds like you're having a beautiful, relaxing time. I loved seeing your photos, especially of the food and decorations. In that photo of the younger children, I was amazed by how much Alistair and James look alike! Aside from the size difference, they could be twins. It's the same face on both. I love the look of your beef Wellington. I've never eaten it but yours looks really gorgeous.

  2. They do look alike in this picture, I hadn't noticed! I must take more note of their similarities, I tend to notice the differences more. The beef wellington was lovely, Richard made it (I am not so good with big pieces of meat). The beef was wrapped in a layer of morel mushrooms and flaky pastry.

  3. I love the warmth that resonates from this post and I know exactly what you mean about being rooted to your favourite seat - I hope you have a few more days like this. Thanks for your encouragement about my job too. Wishing you a wonderful 2014. Claire xo

  4. I'm so happy to have found your blog! It sounds like you had a lovely Christmas with your family. I was surprised to see the paper star you have in your window - I used to make ones just like it and put up at Christmas. I had sort of forgotten about doing them. What kind of paper did you use?

    1. Hi Kristie. Welcome to my space, glad you found it. I am not sure what the paper is called in English, the German word would be "Transparentpapier". I think it might be similar to kite paper. It has the feel of grease proof or baking paper but folds more easily. I always order it in Germany: Cx

  5. I like the sound of Christmas at your house. It sounds a relaxed, merry and happy affair. I think Christmas is all about the presents for the little ones - it takes maturity to see beyond the new toys. I love the coloured paper star you have in your window, it's very beautiful indeed. How did you attach it if you don't mind me asking? x

    1. Hi Gillian. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, we enjoy Christmas time as a family and I am glad my post showed some of our happiness. I remember reaching the age where Christmas magic was replaced with reality and I remember Christmas being a bit disappointing at first, after this transition. To attach the stars I used a small piece of invisible sticky tape on three corners. Cx