Ooops. No blogging for a while. Mostly because nothing very thrilling has been happening.
The last week seems to have consisted mostly of work, and of looing out at the rain. I am starting to wonder what the going rate for gopher wood and pitch is.
This weekend, for the first time in awhile, I had no visitors, no plans to go anywhere and no gig to go to. I did, however, gird up my loins and head into Bath in order to do those bits og Christmas shopping which can't be done online.
I've been involved in conversations elsewhere about the holidays, and not doing things just from a sense of obligation, so it is relevant to say that I enjoy Christmas. For me, it's always been about spending time with family, and I am lucky enough to have a family whom I love and (perhaps less common) get along well with. I also enjy finding suitable gifts for people - giving things to people can be very pleasurable, if you know the person well and can have the fun of finding something which is right for them, and will give them pleasure.
Those elements I enjoy.
The shopping, however. . . . .
I had hoped that as it is still November, it wouldn't be too manic. I had also planned to go into town early, however that part of the plan was scuppered by the need to wait in for a delivary. Still, at least I was able to get the train in so I didn't have to worry about driving or parking, which when I arrived and saw how packed it was, I could see had been a good choice.
Having a good idea of what I wanted (and a low tolerance for crowds and shopping, particularly together) I only stayed for an hour or two, but it was clear that many people were there for the full day.
I can't remeber last time I saw so many people looking so stressed and miserable.
I managed to find suitable gifts for most of the people I wanted to buy things for, and also had a very soothing time in Mr B's (a *very* good independent bookshop, which will even wrap your purchases, in brown paper and string and selaing wax, if you wish), and a tasty time in the cheese shop. (I wasn't shopping for cheese, but for the very nice confits and chutneys which they sell)
With any luck, I shall now be able to get anything further I want online, and shall be able to steer well clear of any major conurbation until after the madness is over.
Today was much more relaxed, and involved cooking - A big vat of (vegetarian) spaghetti bolognese (to freeze) and a venison stew which is sending delicious smells through the house even as I type. In fact, as it is so miserable outside, I decided to make some dumplings to go with it - should be yummy, and just the thing for a cold, wet, dank November evening.
I shall spend the evening writing my first batch of christmas cards, (this year, I'm sending cards only to those I want to send to, not to anyone (except a couple of very elderly relatives) just because I "ought" to. It occured to me that there are people who send me a card every year, and I feel obligated to send one back (or at least, slightly guilty if I don't) but whom I've not otherwise seen, heard or spoken to for years. It's pointless. So this year, actual friends and people I want to connect with only.
Sometimes, the simplest pleasures are the best. I have been getting a good deal of pleasure from watching Tybalt trying to crawl into a paper bag less than 1/3 of his body size. Simple pleasures.....
And in about half an hour, I shall be sitting down to a delicious, hearty venison stew and a glass of red wine. Another simple pleasure.