I say Season’s Greetings because it is a bit too late to wish readers a Happy Christmas, and a bit early for Happy New Year. Battleaxe and Philosopher had a good Christmas, and are now embarking on the ‘in between’ days, waiting for New Year to be over so life can get back to normal. Sounds a bit Scroogy but I have never liked New Year. Spent far too many years at parties I didn’t enjoy trying to pass interminable hours until it was midnight after which one could reasonably go home… Never mind that. Another little celebration – on New Year’s Eve it will be Hastings Battleaxe’s 12th birthday!
Yes, 12 years of blog writing. This is the 581st post. As usual at this time of year, here is a link to the very first one. I still endeavour to write once a week, but it does slip a bit… Stiil, as long as I enjoy writing the posts and at least the odd person enjoys reading them, I’ll carry on.
Have had some very mixed weather recently… Glorious on Boxing Day, vile on Christmas Eve and pretty wet on Christmas Day. Here’s Hastings on Boxing Day. How lucky we are. I pity those poor folks in the USA right now. What is it? A ‘bomb cyclone’? Sounds like one of those disaster movies…
So, moving on but looking back, on 21st December we had a drinkies do for the neighbours. We used to do it before the pandemic, so thought we’d resume. It was also the day of the Winter Solstice. I think our house is a bit Stonehenge-oid – at the solstice, the rising sun shines straight through the house and out the other side. Here is a picture of sunrise – actually on the 22nd, but that is the day when the sun is reborn for the new year. Battleaxe is probably getting a bit more pagan in her old age – give me a few more years and I’ll be dragging my old crone bones out to dance at sunrise on the East Hill, smeared with ash and woad.
It was just the two of us for Christmas – no Shaun this year. I gather that it is quite the fashionable thing to do, spending Christmas ‘a deux’ with one’s loved one, all cosy like… well, cosyish… Philosopher has got a bit obsessed with the smart meter. He keeps notes on what the readings are at particular times of day. Not, I hasten to add, that we are cold… and also, not that we are short of money. Of course I used the big oven to cook our Christmas dinner. We had some ‘slow-cooked’ stuffed turkey joint thing from Marks this year. Cost quite a lot but Battleaxe wouldn’t recommend… like stuffed and bacon-wrapped cotton wool. I like proper turkey with legs and wings and things, with proper giblet gravy. But I got this musical firework Christmas pudding topper. Here it is. Good, eh?
Looking back at what I have just written… what world are we living in? A world where even a relatively fortunate and affluent person like Battleaxe has to think twice about putting the oven on. Don’t get me wrong, saving energy is good for the planet, but how come we are paying so much for the bloody stuff? It will get worse still in April. We are just going to have to get used to living in a Failing State. Life is better under the Tories, eh? I shudder to imagine 2023 – we will shortly have no working infrastructure or public services left. Battleaxe is really trying to modify her self-destructive and pointless rage, but when I read how Rees-Mogg tweets about the birth of the Saviour, one wants to commit murder… the evil hypocrite….
Anyway, less of that, here we are in what we are apparently now supposed to call ‘Twixmas’, the dead time between Christmas and New Year. The papers are full of improving suggestions on how to make the best of it – here is a typical piece from the Metro. If we don’t get off our overfed backsides, get ourselves organised and do these things we are warned that our mental health will suffer… well, chez Battleaxe, we had friends Tom and Jan come round last night and have friend Alison coming to day to stay the night. So, at least I had to scrape the trodden-in mince pie from off the floor under the dining table, while Philosopher hoovered the glittery stuff off the carpet… but that is scarcely taking up pottery, drawing up a budget for the next twelve months, volunteering at a homeless shelter, cleaning out the understairs cupboard etc. Also, our capacity for undertaking new things always suffers a bit around now because my stepson, who spends Christmas with his mother in Devon and then usually comes to us, never tells us when he is going to arrive or when he plans to leave again… of course made worse this year because of transport difficulties. And today it is pissing down with rain.
Ah well, here are our Christmas lights – new icicles this year! That hedge in the middle is getting very big – next year’s illumination challenge.