The snow has wrought a silence and a stillness which at first seems to sit uneasily with this busy time of preparation and creativity. There are cards and gifts to be delivered, supplies to be bought, errands to run, yet the ground outside is as uncompromisingly hard as iron and cold as ice. The freezing weather is its own master, and now ours too. Jobs must wait. Excess is stripped away. Everything is pared down to an essential skeleton. I rather like this, but then again, I am not spending my nights on an airport trolley, or waiting anxiously for the return of loved ones.
The weather brings a surprising mix of the necessary and the unexpected. For me, this afternoon, an unplanned but very welcome time of peace and quiet alone with the scent of the Christmas tree and a log fire, full of thankfulness for a mended boiler and for the hot water and warmth that it brings. Lemon-and-orange curd cooling in the kitchen, and jobs done, as far as I am able. Time to think and reflect and to wait expectantly for the winter solstice: deep in the freezing darkness of tomorrow night, when at last the earth will begin to turn and move towards the sun once more, and every day will be a few minutes longer than the last.
The craft market on Saturday was echoingly quiet, the snow keeping everyone at home. It was disappointing, but I have made sufficient sales this winter to fund my art materials for next year, which was my goal, and it is too easy to become greedy. I have a few items left over, however, so if anybody wants to buy a box of the paper and stitch bunting or a string of little linen birds, let me know, although I won't be able to get them to you for Christmas. The bunting is £8 and the birds are £14 which includes P&P to the UK.