Monday, December 20, 2021

Fog, no chore and help.

1. The fog has closed our world off to one street.

2. Finding that the dishwasher didn't go off last night, so there is no need to empty it.

3. Alec says, 'Shall I take the key and run home to let the Sainsbury's man in?'

Friday, December 17, 2021

Walking home, next round and dance class.

1. At the end of school to give Alec a quick hug before he makes his own way home.

2. To get the news that a story I entered for a competition has got me into the next round.

3. The most pandemic 2021 thing ever would be the adults in their masks dancing with their children to 'Agadoo' at the end of Watching Week.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Early, crow and gift.

1. In the half light before the blinds are opened, I realise that Alec has pretty much dressed himself before coming upstairs, although he is hoping I'll button his shirt for him.

2. A crow on a gable.

3. To take from my father a heavy gift intended for my mother-in-law.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Spend, different view and drawing.

1. To spend a £50 voucher in one whizz round the supermarket by not saying no to anything.

2. I climb into Bettany's high sleeper and see the world through the window from a different angle.

3. To find Alec at Bettany's new desk working on a drawing.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Paperwhites, tiles and painting.

1. To glance over at my paperwhites: another of the five has burst out of its buds. I wasn't going to this year. We plant them as a symbol of hope, and to remember the journalist Elspeth Thompson. But I've had a succession of dud bulbs and limp strappy leaves flopping blindly over the Christmas mantlepiece, and I got discouraged. But Anna made me -- literally dropped a packet of good quality bulbs round so I had to plant them. Every time I look over at the brass pot of creamy white flowers by the kitchen door, I remember her optimism in the face of discouragement. 

2. After days of dust and disorder, our bathroom is re-tiled and we can move our things back in to their familiar places. It's a thrill to glance up and be surprised by the new tiles every time I go up the stairs. 

3. Bettany says again that she would like one of Uncle Steven's paintings in her room, and it's not the one Alec wants for his room.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Assistance, more room and lift together.

1. I ask Bettany to put the scanned shopping in my bag... and she does.

2. The front room and kitchen look much larger now they are not full of Ikea boxes.

3. I am expecting the mattress to be an awkward lift -- but then I realise that everyone is helping.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Sticks, gift and tinkering.

 Sorry, I've been ill again.

1. By the front door into which I'm posting a mis-directed Christmas card are a few bundles of sticks bound with hairy string. Magic, or kindling?

2. Nick brings a packet of cheese and some fig paste -- he's been up town to get his booster, and the centre just happens to be near a cheese shop.

3. While we wait for Alec to go through the bathroom, Bettany and I tinker with a magic set. She is keen to learn a 'find the lady' trick involving cups and a soft ball. She thinks we will let her set up a stand in the street* so she can separate passers-by from their money.

* No, we won't.

Friday, December 03, 2021

Cake, massage and questions.

1. A slice of chocolate cake with our coffee.

2. To let a massage therapist treat the place in my lower back that I try hard not to think about too much.

3. The moment I draw breath the children batter me with questions about the story. 

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Weather, Christmas box and where's my book.

1. I happen to look up and the sun is shining golden through a rain shower. The light on the rain mist has hidden all but the nearest buildings. A cloud passes over the sun and all is revealed.

2. We get the early Christmas decorations out. Things that seemed tired and gaudy on 6 January 2021 are fresh and exciting and charming on 1 December.

3. I have disappeared a few of the Christmas books to keep the collection a reasonable size and so I can buy some new titles if I fancy it. But Bettany asks pointedly for 'My special book about the little girl and her brother writing to Santa.' So I will have to un-disappear that one.

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Cuckoo clock, long parcel and pop.

1. Alec has picked the enormous, detailed German cuckoo clock advent calendar that I was admiring last week. Luckily for him, it's reduced in price.
2. A long parcel arrives -- the first of the Christmas shopping.
3. The pop of pulling embroidery thread through a place already tightly stitched. 

Art book, gossip and watermelon.

1. Among my birthday presents is a new book of Tove Jansson's art, featuring lots of bits I've never seen before. 2. Stopping for a ...