Jan's View

By HarlingDarling

My idea of a tree, since I was 18 months old!

This is what a Christmas tree is, apparently impressed into the soft grey matter of a small child. My parents put it up and decorated it one night for my second Christmas, and were expecting to be thrilled to see my face when I came into the living room the next morning. I am told I didn't even notice it, and their disappointment was profound. They got over it, and I have never missed a trick since!! (not quite true, I miss all sorts of things, but that's a recent development!)

Anyhow, the tree was unwanted when we were emptying our childhood home so Keith suggested carrying it back to Sweden as hand luggage. We did, and no-one at the airport said a word about a long thin package with a lump of wood on the end. I don't dismantle it as everything on it and about it is pretty delicate due to it being 63 years old. But it is very well made and has only one slightly dangly branch. I just took it out of the protective wrappings yesterday, and straightened things up a bit. We're talking 15 minutes. Today I added two strings of the very light, battery operated lights, which work really well - we think so anyhow. It's never had lights before so I hope it agrees.

Another day in the fog, mist, rain, gloom, damp, dark village. I just went down to the cellar to collect the dried washing and the air felt clearer and there was a fresh wind, I could see the other side of the village clearly. I was so happy I dashed in to tell Keith the good news, no stars to see of course, but a lot better. He told me that tomorrow it will snow, & the day after tomorrow will be wall to wall rain. Lovely! I love rain. Maybe. I would sincerely love to see a star in the black night sky, or a ray of sunshine.

I have been preparing the addresses for cards today, and refreshing the ones that have changed. Some of them permanently changed as they have joined the choirs supernal. Some have divorced and there now have to be two addresses, some have appeared for the first time. I thought I'd be organised and write them into a computer programme so I can print out labels (of which I have many). But there was no programme to be found that could make 24 labels a sheet, which is what I have - the Swedish standard. So tomorrow I'll write them by hand and then we can copy them in the printer and there you go, next Christmas will be a whizz through!  I have even sorted them alphabetically and by my two main countries. As you can surmise, I have had time on my hands today, because there was no way I was going out for a walk in that stuff.

In the evening we attended the final political meeting of the year and ate another very late tea. Soup and bread and some rather wonderful Edam cheese. Bought after Christmas last year, and matured in our cellar fridge since then. It tastes very different to the original, bland, red cannon ball of cheese that graces every Swedish Christmas table and tastes of not a great deal. Our matured version is nutty and firmer, and delicious! We mature a lot of cheese this way as the local cheeses are mild, and we are after something with a bit of bite.

Betty's Christmas lights are working again, a loose connection was the problem I think. My ear is still weird, but I can feel there is a little more movement and a little less pressure. This is good news. I had another medical conversation today, which was also very positive and productive, I appear to be on a roll with the NHS! This morning brought a most wonderful surprise of a soon-to-arrive gift from a blip friend - how nice is that!?! A few days ago there was the lovely surprise of an e-mail out of the blue from another blip friend - we are certainly reaching out to one another in a supportive way this year, I am so grateful for blip! A book arrived today "the Body" by Bill Bryson, as recommended by blipper Daveen. I ordered it so long ago I'd forgotten all about it and wondered for quite a while who might have sent it to me... oops! Me! It was me!

There is a bit of ripe language in our kitchen at the moment, so you can probably guess that the big bread baker of the house is in action. He goes in for everyday drama and if there is none available he bakes, and quite often shouts at things! I am calmness and light when I bake and cook, it is a pleasure from start to finish - unless I do something daft of course, but my love is a changed character when baking, it's very interesting. He also tells me to be quiet so he can converse with Siri. This isn't really looking too good, is it?

The bread is out! It looks incredible! It's a Japanese soft Hakkaido milk bread, using the tangzhong method. For those of you who follow Keith I'm sure there will be an expurgated, blow by blow account on his blip. There is a lot of indoor play this month so far, I am missing the great outdoors so tomorrow I will walk in the morning before the snow comes. Whatever the weather  - I think I might be going a bit weird from all this gloomy darkness, and it's always lighter when you actually get out from under your roof! That sounds like a wise saying from some mystical type of being... but it ain't!

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