Twelfth Night

Having been dogged with what my “new” doctor diagnosed as a virus (so no anti-biotic panacea/placebo) I had a fairly inactive – but nonetheless enjoyable – Christmas.

But suddenly it’s the 6th January (Happy New Year everyone!) and the end of the twelve days of Christmas.

No partridges, pear trees no lords a leaping and, most depressing of all perhaps, no gold rings (dammit).  I digress slightly (why not?) to wonder exactly how many calling birds, swans and ladies dancing I would actually have after the twelfth day of the song … because, of course, my true love sent to me a partridge in appear tree on each and every day of the twelve so, logically I now have twelve of each. Then from day two; two  turtle doves, so eleven times two gives me twenty two of ‘em …  Gettit?

Image result for twelve days of christmas

The words originally represent something Biblical I seem to think and this aside came from a lateral thinking quiz I happened across (as you do).

Taking down the few Christmas decorations we have is always a labour of love: each decoration comes with some history: this bauble we bought from the German Christmas market, this one reminds me of one we had when I was a child (though my mother denies any such thing ever existing: the bauble I remember not me as a child that is), this one we bought in Austria … and so on. They are not fancy-fancy. And there are not hundreds of them, but they mean a lot.

Image result for christmas decorations

There are two sprigs of holly too, in memory of my grandparents: back in the day we always had a holly Christmas tree, cut from one of the farm hedges by my grandfather and hung with lights and glass decorations, chocolate coins and so on. s usual this year I crept out and trimmed a couple of twigs from the garden. But superstition says they don’t come into the house until Christmas Eve!

Image result for pictures of holly at christmas

So far we have always had a real one: is it sustainable, eco-friendly? I believe so because new tress have to be planted and farmed as replacements. We opt for a Nordmann Fir because they shed their needles less, apparently,  than other species.  And me;  I would never usually put it up until Christmas Eve: traditionally the beginning of the old-time Christmas festival. But these days people have the trees up as early as the last days of November. So ours goes up a week before the 25th.

We actually thought we had left plenty of time to get the tree. From the Forestry Commission sales at Birches Valley on Cannock Chase. But when we actually pulled on to the car park it was deserted and the marquees, side stalls and usual paraphernalia were nowhere to be seen. There was a notice pinned to  a post that’s aid there were a few remaining, unsold trees for sale from the “office car park”.

Didn’t sound too promising, but we went to take a look. Indeed there were only a few left, but one of them was the best tree I have seen for years: seven feet tall, well-shaped and with lovely patterned bark on the trunk. We took it; the guy in the office saying that the site had been closed even during the sales as the weather made it all unsafe for customers.

So, the tree is down, sawn in half and bundled, unceremoniously into the green, council-collected bin.

Christmas is over, the decorations taped up into a cardboard box again and up in the roof space.

The allotment has been visited. The weather has been warm and wet: floods elsewhere have people having to abandon inundated houses and shops.

It has meant we have carried on with the kitchen caddy waste and have taken to two recycled chicken pellet buckets up to the plot compost heap. Usually, because of the cold weather we take a break.

Slugs and weeds are, no doubt, doing well in this warmth. But maybe we will have a cold snap that will sort them out. 2015 saw us get great harvests (especially proud of the solid cannon-ball sized cabbages) – we look forward to 2016.


One response to this post.

  1. Happy New Year, and I hope you will soon be feeling better.


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