By Kipsie

Deck the halls with boughs of holly

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

I heard my first Xmas song of 2019 this morning, coming from a local Torquay community bus, driven by Santa. I could NOT believe it. How has he got time to be driving buses, surely he should be at home tending his reindeer, or something.
It is all happening far to early for me ... I did pick up my packs of Xmas cards that will need to be written and posted when I made a flying visit to Chudders earlier. Oh dear!! In trouble again. I'm always in trouble.

I woke late this morning, all these middle of the nights comfort calls are taking their toll, so did'nt jump back in bed with my cuppa. I quickly chopped  onion, carrot, garlic, celery, bunged that in a pan with a pack of beef mince, a dollop  of Marmite & a veggie stock cube. Let that simmer away while Ella and I shared my piece of toast. She's quite fond of sharing my food, It's not reciprocal I hasten to add. I made her breakfast, but she does'nt eat it until we've walked. Mince cooked, quickly thickened with Bisto granules. Not a fan but still have'nt found any cornflour.
We did the Armada Park loop in glorious sunshine once again, the birds were singing beautifully, everyone I met had a smile on their face. The sunshine certainly makes a difference. That's when I spotted Santa, the lady waiting at the bus stop could'nt believe it was Santa driving either, but she got on board. Aha!!! Perhaps he was picking up his helpers, who were disguised as OAP's. Cunning plan! Ella did'nt bat an eyelid she was more interested in the smells along the grass verge. I'd swear we could have completed the loop in half the time if we had'nt stopped every, well less than 5 mins for sure. Back to base grabbed the saucepan of cooked mince, bag of sprouts, gardening gloves and secateurs. First stop George & Jean's, an hour of clearing the leaves around the property should do it. 21/2hrs later, and I've only completed a  1/3 of the garden, and that was going flat out. I could hear George playing the piano, which i commented on when he came outside for a chat. We discussed popular music v the likes of Aker Bilk, Russ Conway, Miles Davis Quartet. "Wham, & Wet Wet Wet, what kind of names are they" "What are they singing about" "All this banging & clashing music"

"Who's taking you home tonight
After the dance is through?
Who's going to hold you tight
And whisper, I love you, I do"

"That's Vera Lynn, you can understand the lyrics" ... Thank you George. :- ). The green garden waste bin full to the brim, I headed off to Chudders. I quickly rang ahead & asked hubby to start cooking the potatoes so that when I arrived I could quickly mash them and make the cottage pies for his meals. Me running late plus a slight misunderstanding. He'd got all the carpet out of the shed to take to the allotment, so that had to go back. Cottage pis made, I grabbed the packs of Xmas cards plus my Filofax and headed back to Ella. I thought there might be a puddle. Never mind, my fault. I would'nt go out and leave the door open.
I grabbed my camera, shot out into the garden and snapped some pics of the variegated holly which has plenty of berries so far. I'm surprised the birds have'nt eaten them. The Blackbirds have stripped the holly tree at home. Plenty of berries everywhere this Autumn, which can only mean one thing .. We're in for a hard Winter, well, that's if you believe in those old tales. Holly is often used in traditional Xmas decorations, from the decorated wreath hanging on the front door, an artificial sprig stuck on the hard Royal icing on the Xmas cake, to  a sprig of holly with berries adorning the flaming Xmas pudding as it makes it's way to the dining table. There are even songs about holly ............... tra-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

I spent 45 mins working on my lino cut before the light went again. I'm really pleased with the way it's going ... negative & positive. That's my next search, but it's 23.20 so that might have to be tomorrow.

Thanks to Carol for hosting Tiny Tuesday this month and setting the extra tag Traditional.

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