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Are we nearly there yet? [Dec. 12th, 2017|09:11 pm]
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On Thursday morning we take the train to London for our pre-Christmas visit: not a particularly early train, but I don't want to leave more than the last of the packing until Thursday morning.

I had hoped by now to have sent at least the overseas Christmas cards, and the gifts which need to be posted. Failing that, to have them wrapped and ready to go to the post. So that will be tomorrow's task. Also tomorrow, we have booked for Gail-Nina's Christmas lecture at the Lit & Phil, on Cinderella:
While modern variations may question the happy ending and dismiss the moral, 'Cinderella' remains one of the key story-types of our culture. What could offer a more heart-warming prelude to Christmas than a closer look at the original rags-to-riches narrative enshrined in fairy tales and movies, panto and opera? It's not all just big frocks and charming princes, however - like most traditional tales this one casts some darker shadows, raising questions about rank, love and identity (not to mention shoes.) This richly illustrated talk discusses the roots and variant versions of the tale, symbolic and social interpretations and its wide dissemination as book, drama, image, metaphor and even postcard.

which should be fun. If we go to town by train, I can renew my railcard, which managed to expire without my noticing. Then home in time for the pub quiz. Can we do all this? Who knows?

We are outside the snowpocalypse zone, but snow has fallen, and has been lying around. [personal profile] durham_rambler has been out this evening, and reports that the weather is improving. I am assuming that I will be brave enough to leave the house tomorrow - but we all know I'm a terrible wimp really.

Where did today go? A few days ago [personal profile] durham_rambler reminded a number of our clients that they might want us to send out newsletters before Christmas, and several of them have taken us up on that.

And I have baked a Christmas cake. Technically I have baked two, as the mixture filled two loaf tins, but I persist in regarding it as one cake in two tins. For the record, this quantity, which is what I was aiming for, achieved by adjusting the usual mashup to half quantities on Jane Grigson's recipe, and increasing the Maggie's Farm recipe by not very much - an ounce or so all round. I used mostly spelt flour plus some hazelnut flour, and left out the ground almonds (deliberately; but I've just realised I also left out the nutmeg, which was an accident). After two hours in the oven at mark 3 it smelled done, and I had a look, and stabbed it with a skewer and how do you tell if a rich fruit cake is cooked or nor? But I decided it might be, took it out and poured brandy on its wounds. The house smells of cake, which is very pleasant. It feels self-indulgent, to bake a Christmas cake instead of a pudding (and it definitely is either/or: I'm up for cooking either of them from scratch, but not both) but I enjoy bought pudding almost as much as home made, which isn't true of cake.

So, no, not nearly there yet. Never mind. Bed time.

This entry cross-posted from Dreamwidth: comments always welcome, at either location.