"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boxing Day

Life became rather intense in the run-up to Christmas. We had guests from England, which was an enormous pleasure in terms of planning, preparing, and partying. I had lots of free time before their arrival, and spent it quite happily in the kitchen.

I decorated Ruth and Jewel.

And myself.

We and our guests went to church on Christmas Eve.

We woke to a dusting of snow on Christmas morning, just enough to call it "white" as we hosted a brunch. Our Friends From the North Country joined us and our English friends, whom they had met in Bath two years ago.

We had an English Christmas cake at teatime (with 2 layers of icing--marzipan and royal!)

We feasted on roast lamb and delicious accompaniments in the evening.

And we flamed the pudding.

We watched a film, played board and card games, walked dogs, dined out, opened and admired gifts. Some funny, some touching, all amazing and surprising.

Our company departed a few hours ago. Now the Chap and I and the girls await a winter Nor'Easter called "Euclid," he's supposed to be bringing anywhere from six inches to a foot to a foot-and-a-half of snow. It's about time....

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tree Time

We found it on Friday, at a friend's Christmas tree farm--located on a mountaintop. Very breezy up there in the heights! So many excellent choices that we took a long time deciding.

By Saturday afternoon, it looked like this:

Among the additions this year are London acquisitions, a sparkle mouse and Her Majesty's official Diamond Jubilee ornament, purchased at Buckingham Palace in September.

As usual, Queen Victoria ended up near the sock monkey. And a hedgehog.

Even after a day of decorating, I had enough energy for a crazy Christmas party, over the river (and over it again) and through the woods at a friend's house. Marvellous food, friends old and new, festivity.

There was a Christmas gift exchange. The Chap and I really scored--a very nice bottle of red wine, plus a box of fine foreign cooking spices.

We are troubled by the dearth of snow. Soggy weather lately, not very Christmas-y. The Chap says it will change.

Appointments and meetings from tomorrow through Tuesday..Our Friend From the North Country visits at mid-week. The Christmas gifts that must be sent by post are wrapped and ready to be boxed up. The holiday cards were ordered early and will soon go out--today the dogs wrote their annual Christmas letter.

Monday, December 03, 2012

November remains a blur--largely due to my participation in National Novel Writing Month. I succeeded in writing 50,000 words of a novel--plus a little bit more--on the 29th, and became a validated and certified "winner"! It was a great chance to do something I've always sort of thought I might like to try. Because of travel and other events, I was never able to commit to the full month. And I really needed all that time. There were only 2 days that I didn't write anything at all. Most days I met my quota and some days I exceeded it.

We had a little snow in November. Here's the male cardinal adjusting to the change.

We had warm, pleasant weather in the latter part of the month...then another small snow event on the 1st of December, after enough cold weather to make ice on the little lake. Yesterday it warmed up, creating a thick and very dramatic fog. I shot this photo on the way back from church. A huge flock of wild ducks (many more than appear in the picture) were standing on the rapidly melting ice, or paddling around. They quacked at me!

Last night I attended Handel's Messiah at the big Episcopal church downtown--an annual pilgrimage. Same soloists as last year. Wonderful, marvellous!

Still getting my life back on track, after being in hibernation throughout November. I do need to finish the novel I was writing, but I'm enjoying catching up on reading and Christmas preparations. And the parties begin this weekend!