To link in with Lou's Nature in the Home... 'a centrepiece'. Yes, I know I've shown you my paperwhite bulbs before but they're a) growing nicely and b) going to be a centrepiece. Of sorts.
We're going to be eating Christmas dinner in Manchester this year with Jay's family. My lot are coming to us on Boxing Day for buffet-type shenanigans. So no table centrepiece for us. But the paperwhites, once in flower, will be moved to the mantelpiece for full effect. We'll get to appreciate their scent and the blooms will be reflected in the mirror so we'll get twice as much prettiness.
Progress of another kind, too. I mentioned the need to slow down and enjoy December. I love the pre-Christmas feeling and used to be extra careful with my annual leave all year so I could book my holidays from mid December.
I didn't take them on the other side of Christmas - my philosophy was I might as well get it over and done with, go straight back into work after the post-Christmas comedown and give up trying to delay the inevitable.
Of course, I'm no longer working full time or commuting. But I'm still loving savouring this time of year. And I'm taking time to enjoy the little things - walks with Joe, spotting things like sappy pine boughs and faded hydrangea in people's front gardens.
Yesterday he went down for a nap in the afternoon and I decided to do nothing. Not even knitting or reading. It was strange. I felt a bit unsettled, a bit fidgety. But I forced myself to sit and relax. Nigel Slater was on one of the food channels (a repeat of his Christmas Suppers programme). If Nigel's voice and the sight of all that lovely food doesn't work for you, nothing will.
So: progress. Enforced rest. Hopefully the whole 'switching off' thing will become a regular habit - I even nodded off for fifteen minutes. And slept well in the night. I suspect the mulled wine helped... one of the perks of going visiting in December :)