Jan's View

By HarlingDarling

It's beginning to feel a lot like...

Early rising after a lovely long sleep, and waking to a world of whiteness. Not snow, but fog. And fog at these low temperatures just builds on the ice crystals and increases the crunchy, crisp and rather uneven nature of life in my yard. Porridge to sustain and delight, a quick hair cutting session on the curly headed man, and then a few solid hours of wreath production in the cellar, accompanied by the washing machine-with-a-disturbed-brain. We will have to swap it soon I fear, because it works through a programme, has 2 minutes to go and is suddenly up for another 15.... The call our and the replacement circuit board (for that is what ails it) cost as much as a new machine. ho hum, this sort of thing drives me to distraction. If this were a wise planet, such a thing would be mended not driven to the tip recycling. Anyhow, in the extra you can see the wreath on Betty's front door. It's a very thin ring of willow twigs and I have made this like you "should" binding little bunches onto the ring as you work your way round. They make me feel happy every time I notice them, so it is definitely time well spent.

A quick bit of a snack and I was off to town to finish the decorating of the shop window of our Left party office. Two other artistic women had started the process yesterday (not wanting to meet) and Lina and I finished it off today. They laid a firm foundation of beautiful earthy things such as juniper branches, fir branches, a gorgeous hand-made puppet called Momo, and piles of books. (The original idea was to give out books to children as they walked by on "Shop window Sunday" which marks the beginning of advent here. It is cancelled due to the restrictions on hoards gathering.) 

Our contribution, fired by my very serious twinkle needs, was glitter and lights and the words I prepared last week. We worked in total harmony and in agreement about every last thing we did - including the removal of a massive wall painting that distracted from our tasteful efforts. It turned out to be merely leaning against the wall - so out it went! And SOLIDARITY was hung in a garland on the pure white wall. If Lina (younger, more agile - or perhaps just more bold) hadn't been there it would have been a darker scene. The sockets were in the ceiling (it was a shop) and even with a step ladder there was no way I could reach. Lina climbed on the piles of books! I am a natural health and safety person, gulp!!! It went well. Let there be light etc etc

We kept turning the interior lights off and going outside to see the effect, it was fun to make such a huge impact on what if a white oblong box. I was slightly worried when a police car parked right outside and hung around... just as I drove up (potentially breaking some rule about parking there) to offload the world's most scratty fir tree. That added a slight rise in blood pressure. Why does the sight of a police car do that to a law abiding citizen??? 

Our office is between a cool, silver and white, hairdressing salon, and a funeral parlour with windows to match. I think we won the competition!! we are in any case the reddest window in the town. The Momo puppet that is the figure in the window, is a marvellous creation made by Jonna one of our members. She used to run a puppet theatre and is wonderful at all things three dimensional. (Her husband Gustav was a theatre technician and is a great man to have around when practical solutions to tricky problems are needed. What a team.) Momo who was made many decades ago, looks very like Nooshi Dadgostar, our newly appointed party leader. Curious. The digital Advent calendar is also advertised in a corner of the window, hope people follow it!

Food shopping, unloading the car, carting food to the house, stashing everything away, admiring Keith's massive meat long-cooking dish, having a peep at blip and then making dinner. (left overs, rice freshened up with some new vegetables) I am now feeling like episode 6 of the Crown would sit very nicely thank you! Episode 5 was a gut wrenching cracker, Maggie Thatcher and the Faukland's war in all their glory. Or very much not. Fagin the palace intruder! I still have visceral reactions to that dreadful woman who single handedly destroyed so much, and so many actual lives. I left the UK in 1979, who knows if I ever would have done that without the harsh times that her austerity policies ushered in? (lighten up Jan, I hear my sister-in-law call!)

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