In the lull between Christmas and New Year, I meander through the days in a pleasant stupor. The high excitement of Christmas Day is over, New Year is not quite here, and there are few deadlines, apart from meals and dog walks, both of which have assumed a wandering quality, taking place at any time between waking and sleeping (waking and sleeping arrangements also having taken on a certain fluidity), and pleasing everyone just the same.
Days are spent reading, sewing, catching up with television, and throwing the occasional wash through the machine, or filling the dishwasher. I am glad when the afternoon darkens, and I can light the candles I have scattered all round the house; partly to enjoy their flickering glow and gentle light, and partly to conceal the fact that the floor hasn't been mopped for days.
The house is still full of festive food, and all of it more than edible. We now avoid turkey at Christmas, as no-one ever wanted to eat it the next day. The leftover meat would be frozen on Boxing Day and made in to a curry sometime in February (which nobody wanted then either). After several years of this pointless ritual, coinciding with my meat consumption plummeting to virtual vegetarianism, with the very occasional bacon sandwich, we changed our Christmas Day feast from turkey (with all the trimmings), to ham, beef, and fish (with all the trimmings). This ensures plentiful feasting on the day, genuinely tasty leftovers for many days afterwards, and almost no waste.
Minimal food preparation and ignoring the house being in a state of dusty disarray, I have plenty of time for reading, and have a pile of delightful bookish gifts to enjoy. I am currently reading Laurie Lee's 'Village Christmas And Other Notes on The English Year'. The writing is sumptuous; lush, specific, poetic, beautiful.
Post Christmas, I also finished my first full- size quilt, which I had been working on throughout the autumn. I have spent the last couple of evenings stitching the border. As I had opted for the aforementioned candlelight, this felt rather Bronte-esque, stitching diligently in the dim light as the storms raged outside. Here is the finished quilt draped over Isaac's legs. I had barely finished the last stitch when it was pressed into sofa service, which is just as it should be.
A quilt's eye view of the television.
I hope your days in the lull are equally pleasant (and perhaps that little bit more organised than mine). Happy festive times.