Christmas 2017 is over and we’re now in that between-time when, as columnist Debora Robertson so succinctly put it in today’s Daily Telegraph, “it’s difficult to tell whether it’s lunchtime or Tuesday.” I couldn’t have put it better myself. We haven’t really sat down to a proper meal, apart from late breakfasts – sometimes VERY late breakfasts – since Boxing Day. We have enjoyed pea and mint soup, ham and chutney sandwiches (no turkey as we weren’t hosting meals this Christmas, the upside is no work, the downside is no cold turkey for sandwiches), and lots of Christmas cake, Turkish Delight, and salted cashews washed down with either glasses of Tia Maria or Baileys.
In mitigation, this is a once-a-year happening and we have enjoyed tangerines and fresh pears which are quite lovely at the moment. This evening we will be having bolognaise sauce wrapped up in tagliatelli (I learned on a repeat showing of Gregg Wallace’s and Cherry Healey’s pasta factory programme yesterday that spag bol, so loved by we Brits, isn’t an Italian dish at all; Italian’s would cook a meat ragu and serve it not on spaghetti, which they reserve for Carbonara-style sauces, but on the thicker tagliatelli, so tonight I am cooking Italian-style, or what I hope will be closer to the real thing.)
This is the period when I think it’s perfectly in order to be as lazy as we like and believe me, I’ve taken laziness to a whole new level, watching TV and reading magazines, such as …
I don’t usually buy The Lady. I once subscribed to it but I found that as it is a weekly publication I simply wasn’t reading one copy before the next one landed on the mat. I think it would be far better if it was fortnightly, but that’s only my opinion; publishers obviously know best. Furthermore, had I realized I would be parting with £6 for this ‘Winter Collector’s’ issue (mea culpa, I didn’t look at the price) I don’t think I’d have parted with my money as that is more than the price of the shiniest monthly glossy, but I have to say, having bought it, it’s excellent and this old gal is sorely tempted into taking out another subscription just when she’s cancelled a sub to one of her monthly magazines.
Indeed, I have a soft spot for The Lady – I once wrote some articles for it – and you can guarantee there are always some thought-provoking articles in it. There is such an article in this one, but I’m saving that for another post.
However … I haven’t been so lazy as to not write my post-Christmas thank you letters. Half of them are already in the post, using up the last of my Christmas 2nd class stamps, and the other half have been written this afternoon.
As we are using the dining table for the jigsaw puzzle, I used the largest of the nest of tables for this purpose, sitting on the sofa. I have a selection of correspondence cards and note cards, but I always use my bright yellow Lamy Safari fountain pen. I always aim to have my thank you letters written (hand written) and posted before New Year’s Eve.
Speaking of thank you letters, Judith Woods, another columnist at the Daily Telegraph said in her column yesterday that writing these letters is “another life skill being lost,” and that she could recall her “own sense of horror, back in the Twixmases of the Seventies, when day after day the nation’s reluctant kids would be served up the stationery set that Father Christmas brought them and put to work.” Perhaps I was an oddity as a child (I do not use the word ‘kid’ for a child; a ‘kid’ is a young goat, and if we intend that our children should become polite and well-mannered adults, we must dignify them with the use of the proper terms of ‘child’ and ‘children’) as I never minded sitting down to write my thank you letters. I always loved pretty stationery, and even though I found writing and spelling difficult at first, once I got the hang of it there was no stopping me.
And in this lovely basket, one of two given to us for Christmas, I now have my correspondence cards and note cards.
As well as watching TV and reading, we have been endeavouring to put this jigsaw puzzle together. We’ve not got very far yet, and husband has done the lion’s share. I can see this being on the dining table for the whole of January at this rate. The table is now sited under the window, to provide more light during the day time, instead of behind the sofa.
By removing the dining table, temporarily, to enable us to have better light for the jigsaw puzzle, it has allowed me the opportunity to show you the back of our terracotta sofa. I just love the curved shape. We’ve had it for 32 years and it was reupholstered in 2002 but it’s still a very comfortable piece of furniture. The sun was pouring into the room this morning but only for a short period because soon after I took this photograph the rain poured down. And then this evening, the room looked cosy by lamp light, so I took another couple of photos.
Neutral, this room is not!
What I dislike about our sitting room is the large flat-screen TV in the corner, but on the other hand, I think a cabinet to hide would be pretentious, a bit like the Victorians putting covers on piano legs, or women like Hyacinth Bucket placing a little crinoline lady over the spare loo roll. It is a TV, it is an ugly piece of kit, but that is what it is.
I am now off to re-heat the meat ragu and cook some tagliatelli and grate some fresh parmesan, I wonder what you are having for supper/tea/dinner wherever you are?
Until next time.