Sunday, December 26, 2010

Small gifts, joint effort and ghost story.

1. The Mother left us a mysterious bag, which we open before we get up. She has packed it with small presents for both of us, and we take it in turns to pull something out -- bright wooden Christmas decorations from Russia and a large box of truffles; particularly for Nick, a train magazine and a small dustpan and brush for sweeping crumbs off the table; a soft and pretty pair of socks for me, and even some posh changing bits for Baby Badger.

1a. For breakfast, we eat soft panettone studded with raisins and the tenderest citrus peel.

1b. As we leave for our walk, I notice that the bulbs I planted back in November have reached up, questing through the cold soil.

2. Sitting with Nick and working out the timings for our Christmas dinner. Nick stuffed the chicken, and made pigs in blankets. I looked after the roasties, parsnips and carrots and brussels sprouts.

3. My cousins sent me Susan Hill's The Small Hand -- a ghost story in a luxurious little book. The pages and the cover are thick and textured, and the prose is creamy and satisfying. I think she's being very canny to remind people of why they might want to continue buying paper books, rather than using an e-reader.