It’s been a while since I blogged – probably 4 weeks or slightly more. However, I did say back then that I was taking a bit of time off after finishing my latest novel (Witch Ever Way You Look At It) to pursue something else, so that is half of the reason.
The other half of the reason is that I have been so angry and generally peed off by the attitude of certain people over the last fortnight that if I wrote anything it would end up being a pure and evil rant and someone would probably die through sheer ether venom. So, having pulled on my hat of calm, and grown-up-person status, I am here to calmly go where I have calmly gone before. Kind of…
Christmas is just around the corner and the grand children have already been over bearing their ‘Grandma and Granddad’ cards. I, on the other hand, haven’t yet purchased theirs. I also haven’t stuck the marzipan on the cake, but I have fed it regularly with Sherry, so that’s something. At least the dear thing is waiting patiently in the cupboard, swaying happily and humming rude pirate-type ditties. I might dig out the block of almond paste that I spied the other day, at the back of a cupboard, and slap it on. I’m sure it’s out of date – the paste not the cupboard – but then so were the flaked and ground almonds if you remember (previous blog) but only by a year or so…
I think I like Christmas – but I also think that I’ve liked it more than I do today. My parents are no longer here and so that is a massive loss at this time of year. It’s hard not to drift back to ‘family Christmases,’ when we were all young and when the excitement of Santa coming was almost uncontrollable. I’m not sure if I ever quite accepted, in an easy manner, the idea of a strange man entering my bedroom whilst I slept? I might view this differently now?
Back then the man in the red suit never failed to bring to me my heart’s desires. I think I was an easy child to please, in all honestly, and I remember one of my ‘greatest’ gifts was a cowgirl outfit. I opened my eyes one Christmas morning and there it was, hanging on the wardrobe door, beige imitation leather and tassels so long that they touched the floor.
From this point onward I became Calamity Jane, roping and riding my brother, sitting on his back as he struggled round on hands and knees, rearing up and down, trying to shake me off. Like that was ever going to happen! Obviously, the ‘outfit’ didn’t come with ‘tack’ for my horse (brother) so I had to compromise and came up with my dressing gown belt which I made my brother put in his mouth, like a bit, so that I could steer him. It all worked swimmingly, until my stupid brother turned the wrong way and a quick snatch of the belt, to correct him, removed his molar. Mum wasn’t too impressed but I do think my brother over-egged the pudding a bit. The tooth was out in a flash and it didn’t bleed much. I went on from that point to be a tomboy and lived up to the name …having one calamity after the other.
I also remember, back then, having pork pie for breakfast. Is this real? Did, and do, people still do that? And Christmas cake with royal icing, so hard that it could have supported foundations and gave you something to grate your teeth on all the way through the Queen’s speech and beyond. I don’t think many people use royal icing these days? Don’t we all use the softer fondant type? And we always had sherry trifle for tea, which was jolly fun – and seemed like even more jolly fun on the second helping than the first.
And dear Mum – cooking her little socks off for us all. And Dad, working hard to give his children Christmases to remember – and not just because of the gifts, but because of the love and family time we shared. As I say, I miss those Christmases.
But there is still joy. In comes in the form of the grandchildren. Small people loving the excitement and the expectation of Christmas. On their last visit they posed for pics’ in front of the Christmas tree. Jake sang hymns and carols that he had learnt at school and Grace performed her ‘ballerina’ moves that she had learnt at nursery.Her pirouette needs a little more work but she’s getting there – and she is only 3. I don’t want this to make you think that Grace is a pink girlie-type – though she does rather like pink. No, I think Grace could well be asking for a cowgirl outfit next year. And as luck would have it Jake is at that age where his ‘baby’ teeth are queuing up to be shed. Just as well really.
Take care my lovelies x