|Five signs of approaching Christmas
||[Dec. 9th, 2014|10:18 pm]
This year it's all about the 31 days of Christmas. You can be as festive as you like in November, and get nothing from me but "Bah, humbug!" I even went to the pantomime in November (there were reasons), and I enjoyed it, but it didn't make me feel Christmassy. Then December arrived, and as if a switch had been thrown, 'tis the season. And these are the signs:
- December began with a series of heavy frosts. A week on, and we're seeing no two days alike, but we've had some frosty mornings, just to remind us what it's like.
- It's all Christmas music, all the time - and I don't mind. Some of it's good, and some of it isn't, but that's true of background music in public places all the year round. The month is young, and I may yet tire of it, but just now, it makes me smile.
- Perhaps because the lights are switched on in November, they don't have the same effect. The evenings are dark and there are lights in the street: so? Durham's illuminated reindeer have been brought out for yet another year, and are looking a bit bedraggled. But lights are just starting at house windows, Christmas trees decorated and lit for the benefit of the people inside the house, then set at the windows to cheers passers-by outside...
- I not only felt the urge to bake a chestnut loaf, which happens at any season if I have a supply of chestnut flour, but also added dried cranberries to it, so my breakfast toast has been seasonal. It has also been crustier than intended, because for the second time in three loaves I forgot to remove it from the oven until it was a fair bit better done than intended. This confirms my suspicion that the better cooked the loaf, the easier to remove from the tin, but now let's see if I can wind back to the optimum point.
- I had forgotten all about Fenwick's window, and as I approached from the side lane, past the chapel, it took me a moment to realise what the music was (why does it have to be so loud?). The theme this year is Alice in Wonderland, which made me happy. A couple were trying to photograph themselves staning in front of one of the windows.
Strange things appear in the shops. Marks & Spencers offer a box in the shape of a tree containing, according to the label, chocolate whips. But there's nothing seasonal about that...