Visiting: Blenheim Palace to see the rooms decorated, the theme was the story of the Snow Queen this year, magical and so Christmassy on 23rd December. Perfect

Making: Mulled Cider, again

Making: Rainbow salad sprinkled with mixed seeds, a lot of crunch drizzled with a lemony, sesame dressing

Staring: at the beautiful sunsets

Cooking: Spicy rice with mixed peppers, mushrooms and tender-stem broccoli later. I need another meatless meal, it’s come to that point in the week. I found a Facebook memory which said similar on this day a year or two ago. Though I opted for fish pie back then

Visiting: Waddesdon Manor Christmas on 18th. The Manor was decorated nicely, but the weather for the outdoor market and illuminations eeek! It was only 3 degrees with pelting rain for the whole time. I became cold to the bone, brrrr!

Reading: a very promising advance reader copy of a novel to be published next summer. It’s about a heist planned by an all women team, in London in 1905. As I read I keep seeing it as a film, the writing is very cinematic. If the other half is as good I’ll tell you more about it near the publication date. I really hope it continues to be this good, I’m enjoying it so much

Wondering: about joining a book club but unsure I want to read others’ choices, especially as the first of next month is by Matt Haig. I’m not a fan, so far

Looking: at the sparkles on the Christmas tree

Listening: to music

Wishing: for a happy and healthy New Year for me and mine, you and yours too

Enjoying: crocheting by the Christmas tree, my bobble cowl is really growing. I can do around 40 minutes at a sitting, a couple of times a week. It’s slow crochet, but better than no crochet

Appreciating: the texture of this ball of Hayfield Spirit yarn, it’s got a crunchy crispy texture and great stitch definition

Sipping: Twinnings Spicy ginger tea. Tasty and warming while I am

Eating: Artisan du Chocolat salted maple caramels, bliss!

Liking: Crimbo Limbo very much; this chilled out time which is like no other during the rest of the year between Christmas and New Year

Loving: Carols From Kings College Cambridge, such a Christmas Eve tradition, did you watch it too? I know it’s broadcast around the world. Did you join in with Hark the Herald and realise it was pitched too high, for the choir boys? Tee hee

Buying: tea bags, peppers, red and yellow tomatoes, hovering over reduced parcel toppers and eco friendly twine for next Christmas and thinking “Nah! I can’t face it buying it all again.”

Feeling: reflective

Managing: a verbal Gold Star from my excellent physio therapist yesterday, for my “self-mobilisation”. December has been a challenge; full of exercises, walks, hot water bottles, massage, stretches, Sarah Keys Back Block stretches before bed. If you know, you know…

Watching: Ghostbusters, Knives Out, Ghosts Christmas special (made tears roll down my face at the end remembering those who have gone), Mortimer and Whitehouse Gone Fishing Christmas Special, The Snowman, The Snowman and the Snowdog (Someone is always so sad when the dog dies) Mrs Brown’s Boys (terrible, but traditional) The King’s Speech on Christmas Day (not the film, the actual King.) Tonight it might be Detectorists Christmas special or the second Knives Out film or…

Noticing: it’s lighter later, or is that wishful thinking? It’s lighter 2 minutes earlier every day from 21st after all

Hoping: those who have been unwell over Christmas will be much better soon

Wearing: relaxed house clothes, leaning against a hot water bottle. Prob unsafe, but far more comfy than a lumpy wheat bag

Following: our own agenda this week, while calling in to see older relatives regularly, we know we’re lucky to have them

Sorting: out how to use my new Contigo mug

Getting: lots of lovely things to use, drink and cook

Coveting: another year of Spotify Premium, mine ends on Sunday. I’ll miss it

Hearing: Holding onto You by Olivia Broadfield, one of the tracks on my ‘Soothing’ Spotify playlist, but it’s Goal of the Century which still makes my heart lift everytime it begins to play. I’ve been gradually adding to the playlist for years, it’s gorgeous. Perfect for Crimbo Limbo week


How are you? Have you celebrated Christmas, had time to chill, or is it work as usual? Either way I hope you’re healthy and have escaped the lurgy. I’ve know so many have been affected this week, I’ve sent much love and healing vibes to them.

It’s my blogging birthday on New Year’s Eve on Saturday, eleven years! 11. WOW.

17 thoughts on “December

  1. The first time after Covid hit for providing Christmas for someone else . Just my son and I opted to buy mince pies this year rather than make them but still a lot of work. I am recovering from the effort. Had a good time though. Envy you your sunsets, too many buildings here to really appreciate them.

  2. Aw, I think I need to book Blenheim or Chatsworth for Christmas next year. I have loved the National Trust properties though.
    I want to like Matt Haig but I find them a slog – the characters irritate me. I recently stopped only a little way into The Midnight Library. A book club does sound like good fun but it can be hard to be told what to read!
    I am looking forward to watching the new Knives Out in the next week. We saw the un-animated Lady and the Tramp today, which was surprisingly enjoyable. Still think Phantom of the Open is my film for 2022.

    • I’ve been enjoying your pics from your National Trust visits on Insta. This is the first year for many that we haven’t been to any Christmas NT houses, although we are thinking about going somewhere today, partly inspired by seeing so many of your visits lately!
      Ditto regarding Matt Haig books. I have never managed to read a whole book.
      I wonder if BCs can get argumentative when people clash about the plot or enjoying versus not enjoying the book.
      I’ll have to look out for Phantom of the Open to become free, it’s only available on Prime to rent at the moment. Thanks for the recommendation.
      Happy New Year!

  3. Thank you for the wonderful photos! Your Christmas looks and sounds utterly enjoyable.
    Happy New Year and Happy Blogging Birthday! Your posts always make me feel better. (Which is something I appreciate a lot right now, being down with the 3rd (or so) cough in a row this December… It seems covid has played some nasty tricks with our immunity!)

    • Oh no, I’m so sorry. So many people are unwell at the moment, the cold with a cough is plaguing people here too. I hope yours goes very, very soon and you feel back up to full strength quickly.

      Thank you for being such a loyal reader and your wonderful comment here, which has really made my day. Blogging is less popular now and reader numbers have definitely gone down for everybody, but I still enjoy doing it so have no plans to stop yet.
      Happy New Year and thank you for the blogging birthday wishes!

  4. You’ve been to a couple of amazing places, really stunning. That rainbow salad looks fantastic, you are inspiring me. And I love the texture and colours of your crochet cowl. CJ xx

  5. Eleven years! The blogging time moves on faster than you realise. I’d forgotten how opulent Blenheim is, its been so long since I visited (30-ish years, maybe?).
    We inadvertently had quite a sob-fest as we sat to watch It’s a Wonderful Life, Mary Poppins, Ghosts Christmas special and the 12 Days of Christine from the Inside No 9. All in 24 hours. Felt quite soggy by the end of it. Think I will insist on something more light-hearted this evening!
    Have a great NYE.

    • Blenheim used to stick a few colourful caps on statues and place berried holly about and call it Christmas at the Palace, but more recently they’ve had a company who decorate F&M etc in to do a massive transformation with a theme. So, it’s been the stories of The Nutcracker and Cinderella, this year The Snow Queen. We are ahem mature but even we enjoyed finding the mice in every room! It’s pretty hard when everything is ….everywhere.
      I’m in awe of your viewing marathon. Will definitely watch that Inside No. 9 episode, they never disappoint. Thanks for the reminder it’s there waiting for us.
      Have a great NYE too. I’ve enjoyed our messages and reading your blog too this year. Here’s to 2023!

  6. Happy New Year Rachel and Happy Blogging Birthday, I love reading your blogs, they are always filled with interesting subjects. Blenheim Palace looks gorgeous – love the Peacock. I didn’t view much TV only All Creatures Great and Small And Doc Martin Christmas Specials. We normally choose Its a Wonderful Life DVD to watch but this year we watched Scrooge (Alistair Sims and George Cole) wait for it on Video (who still has a video player recorder apart from us??)
    Cheers to 2023!

    • Thank you so much, that’s really lovely to know.
      I’m planning to watch the Doc Martin Christmas special sometime, although I didn’t get through all of the last series, it would be nice to watch the last ever one.
      I think you are probably one of a very, very small percentage of people who still have a video player! We played a DVD this year, I think only the one, and felt like dinosaurs!
      That version of Scrooge is a favourite, Sims is great in the role. Maybe we’ll watch it today? It’s pouring and due to be high winds this afternoon.
      Happy New Year to you too and cheers for 2023!

  7. You really could open a restaurant – your food combinations always sound and look divine and are obviously properly planned!
    11 years is a long time, congratulations. I don’t think I’m going to hold out that long, I’m afraid. This year has been quite a battle juggling time and energy (personal energy as well as the official and horribly regular power outages throughout SA), and I just seem to have run out of enthusiasm. Also, I suppose, I can’t always think of reasons why anyone would be interested in seeing pics of yet another necklace or upcycled skirt or the state of my garden (needs some serious weeding, sadly). But this doesn’t mean that I won’t still read other peoples’ blogs because I haven’t lost interest in what you are all doing “out there” wherever in the world you are. I may not always comment, and/or it may be a while before I get around to reading them but I’m still here. Sometimes only in spirit but that’s better than nothing, right?
    Happy New Year to you. Stay warm as you can (we are well-informed about your current winter/power conditions) while we try and stay cool!

    • I’m the same – I don’t always read as soon as a post is published, but I get to it in a while. I actually thought that people must be really busy as no one had blogged this month at all, then clicked that perhaps there was an issue with Bloglovin’ (there is) so I hadn’t had any emails. Good job that I added all I follow to Feedly, but I will miss the emails which used to come regularly from BL every time there was a batch of new posts.
      I am interested in what you make, I’ve always read and I am sure others would miss seeing your makes. I loved your beads pic earlier on Insta, so there’s one to save up to post a before and after of in a week or so! You always used to write about the variety of customers at the markets, it was always a mixed experience. They were entertaining. Any more ideas needed, I’ll email you!
      We’re toasty thanks, not cold but pelting rain today so hibernating. Stay cool and hope you have a very Happy New Year Jill.

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