It has been lovely seeing so many comments coming in from readers following my New Year’s Day post and my offer of a books giveaway, and there is yet almost two weeks to go before I close the giveaway and the draw is made.
I thought I’d start today’s post, the 501st, with the flower ‘theatre’ in Waitrose (I use this term as the serried ranks of flowers remind me of the flower theatres on which auriculas are usually displayed.) We need all the colour – at least those of us here in the northern hemisphere – we can find right now, on these cold, dark, rather drab winter days.
But before I go any further, I want to draw your eyes to the current display just inside the main entrance of the supermarket:
It is a display of reduced-price cleaning products (either cleaning for the home or the person, in the form of shower jels and toothpastes.) Haven’t we been thinking how wonderful it is – once the Christmas tree is removed and the needles vacuumed up, and the cards and decorations taken down – to set about the spring cleaning, or pre-spring cleaning as we’re still in the depths of winter here in the UK. Perhaps in Australia and New Zealand there isn’t the same urge to clean and, instead, you are just doing your best to keep cool!
I think the supermarket is now filling in time between displays of Christmas produce and St Valentine’s Day which will be the next big (commercial) thing. And then, of course, Easter. But I think they might be a little wary of raising the hackles of the customers by putting out Valentine cards even before 12th night and so, instead, why not get the customers *dashing away with a smoothing iron, or disinfecting the loo? They have picked up on the zeitgeist, have they not: to have a good clean-up after the party season? One friend, I believe, is clearing out her loft! [*19th century English folk song]
But to the title of this post: Getting Ahead. This has come about because this Christmas – the one just gone – I was caught napping a bit. I don’t have the same amount of things to do now, certainly not the cooking, because our daughters in law have taken up the cooking baton, but I find there are still lots of things to do. Further more, as I get older, I find even those fewer things are now tiring,and there were moments when I wished Christmas would simply go away so that I could sit down with a book and not have to write cards, bake a cake, and decorate the tree. I love Christmas Day, but as I’ve said before, I dislike all the Christmas hype from September onward. But as I’ve also said before, it was ever thus, and I know becauase my parents had a shop in the 1950s/60s and I can recall all the Christmas goods being put on display at much the same time as they are put on display now, 60+ years later.
So, yesterday, having received three more presents (they were a little late as elder son and daughter in law went to visit her parents and brought the presents back with them) I wrote three more thank-you notes and posted those today. I then made some appointments, dealt with some business correspondence, and wrote the shopping list after first checking the contents of the fridge/freezer/larder (aka food cupboard) and making soup with the veg bought just before Christmas, so they are not in the first flush of vegetable youth, but on the other hand, not fit only for the compost bin.
So while my desk now needs a thorough tidy, the household file (in which I keep all the correspondence to do with council tax, water rates, insurances, Denplan, etc) needs weeding, and anything truly out of date shredding, some paperwork has been dealt with. (Coincidentally, there was an article yesterday in the paper about how doing such tasks – and they needn’t be huge tasks – can not only prevent stress but also release endorphins that make you feel good, and I do think there is something in that.)
As to the Getting Ahead, I then decided to print the address labels for next Christmases cards! Yes, I have printed all the labels and next time I visit the post office I plan to buy the 50 or so 2nd class stamps for the Christmas cards. And if I see any Christmas cards in a Sale anywhere, ones I like of course, I shall buy those, too. At least having all that done would really help me to have a less stressful pre-Christmas time, would it not? Husband has said that if I weren’t around (i.e. pushing up the daisies) he’d simply not bother with cards. I wonder how many other men think this way? Would Christmas as we know it cease if women did not Make An Effort?
Back to today, I bought another small bunch of daffodils but I’ve noticed that instead of putting up the price, there are fewer blooms to the bunch. Did the supermarkets think we’d not notice? Even so, I just love their brightness on a dark winter’s day, and once these open, they will brighten up the kitchen.
With them I used some foliage from the garden, as I have also done with a bunch of bright yellow freesias (below) which are now in the sitting room:
I have to say I wasn’t particularly keen on bright yellow, but I thought the foliage might soften them a little. The reason I bought yellow is that this colour (along with red) has the strongest fragrance and that is why I buy freesias, for their lovely scent. The pretty floral jug was a present from a dear friend.
Meanwhile, in the kitchen, the white hyacinths are looking wonderful although you either like the fragrance or you don’t – I’m the only one in the family who likes it; our young grandson holds his little nose when he comes in and goes “pooh!”
And in the sitting room, the freesias from last week are still looking good:
The light from the lamp makes them look more flame colour, but they are a deep red and the scent, even a week later, is still lovely.
And now, at just gone 4.30 pm, it’s time for a cup of tea and a look at the paper. Daylight has faded, we have the lamps on, and truly, I can’t wait for the brighter, lighter days now, but I do feel more buoyant because of the desk-work done, the appointments that have been made, and the Christmas card envelope labels for next Christmas printed. Isn’t it funny, the satisfaction provided by minor tasks accomplished?
Until next time.