After a while away from Changing Pages its good to be back. I have had a rather lovely time dipping in and out of the Indian ocean and soaking up some sun on a beautiful island getaway. Going away in November, particularly to somewhere far flung is a great (and privileged) way to ease into Winter, putting off the inevitable run up to Christmas which seems to start earlier every year in the UK.
My usual tradition is to try and ignore Christmas until December. This however does not make for a calm or organised approach to the festivities. So this weekend I gave into the Christmas tunes, which are already on the radio and the supermarket isles lined with Christmas crackers and wrapping paper and embarked on some very minor pre Christmas preparations myself.
This time of year sees an abundance of Christmas fetes, fairs and markets and our little corner of London has more than its fair share. I’m always keen to support independent businesses and to shop local. So a Christmas fair at a local church with lots of local crafts people selling their wares was a good way to start my Christmas shopping. Some locally hand made chocolates and one or two other small gifts were purchased and have now been carefully stowed away. Incidentally on Friday when the high street was in a Black Friday Frenzy “Just a Card” which I have written about before here, was instead promoting the #JACIndieFriday campaign, a celebration of all things colourful, passionate and independent. A welcome and much nicer alternative to the horribly named Black Friday. Buying just a card from an independent shop is vital to the prosperity and survival of small businesses.
Today is ‘Stir up Sunday’ the traditional day for making puddings and cakes. Realising this earlier in the week I had been organised enough to check my stores and stock up on the necessary dried fruit in order to stir up my own Christmas Pud. Unfortunately I hadn’t been organised enough to remember I should have soaked the fruit over night. So when I came to make my pudding at 3pm this afternoon I got no further than weighing my fruit, tipping it into a hefty basin and dousing it in lots of sherry. Stir up Sunday has suddenly become Stir up Monday.
I have also been reading ‘MrDickens and his Carol’ which was very kindly sent to me by the independent publishers Allison & Bushby. I always like to read something a bit Christmassy during the festive season and this debut novel by Samantha Silva is proving to be an excellent choice. I look forward to reviewing it in December when I plan to make all my Book reviews Christmas book reviews
And finally, I have begun to make a few lists, not many yet but its a start and my initial bah humbug reluctance to engage with Christmas in November has been replaced with a cheery rendition of ’tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la laa, la la, la laa.