Now we’re out of lockdown and formally into Tier 2, not a lot has changed, for us at any rate. We will still minimise our contact with others, especially indoors. We will continue to think carefully about any plans. We won’t be putting ourselves and others at avoidable risk. For the likes of us, the losses are a small price to pay to protect our own and others’ health.
We’ve started to plan who we’ll be seeing when over the holiday period. Quite a bit depends on others. As with any extended family, everyone has competing demands from different parts of their family network. Us probably less than most, as our parents are all dead now, and we have only one surviving older family member (who always comes first in our Christmas planning). So it mostly boils down to our children and their families. Some of them have had a particularly hard time of it this year, and our choice is to support them in putting the other side of their family first.
All of which adds up to a much quieter Christmas than usual, though we will still be seeing all of our immediate family. We will miss seeing our siblings and their families, but that will come and it’s far more important for us all to stay safe. We will without doubt enjoy the Christmas celebration we have, and look forward to other bigger celebrations in times to come. In the meantime, it looks like this year youngest son and his family will visit us for a few days, and we’ll especially enjoy having plenty of quality time with the little one.
And today, I’ve been to town and visited a couple of shops I’ve missed during lockdown. Doing my bit to support small local traders: heaven knows they need it now more than ever. I’ve stocked up on yarn from WoolBath, Laura’s lovely shop in the centre of Bath. This means I can now start on a couple more Christmas presents, plus a little something for dear friends a continent away who have just had twins. Plenty there to keep me happily occupied. I’ve also restocked my tea (from Gillards‘ stall in the Guildhall Market) without which knitting is of course impossible.
It’s beginning to feel quite wintery. I’ve taught myself to love winter as much as all the other seasons. Today I took the Christmas decorations out, and we’ll gradually put things up, a little each day. Lunch salads have moved into winter-mode: today it was red cabbage, carrot and celeriac, with some red cabbage sauerkraut I made back in January, some toasted seeds, dried fruit and cashews. All very quick to prepare and delicious to eat.
Something we’ve missed very much this year is being able to travel. My latest ploy is to read instead: currently cookery books around a country theme. At the moment it’s Denmark. I bought this book as a present for the two of us last Christmas, and it’s wonderfully evocative of a city we’ve come to love (and a country we’ve come to love). We have two other cookbooks by the same writer – all a good read, as well as having excellemt recipes (not least Malcolm’s cinnamon bun triumph).
And later this week, at long last, we’ll be able to catch up with granddaughter and hopefully kidnap her for a few hours – a pleasure for us and respite for her mum. I think her mum’s going to be mucking out the hens. I reckon d-i-l drew the short straw on that one.
I hope you’re getting through this as well as possible. See you soon I hope xx