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Monday, 30 December 2013

At the turn of the year

These days after Christmas celebrations and before the new year have an odd feeling about them, neither holiday or work day, there appears little traffic in our suburban street, certainly few of the regular Park-and-Ride commuter cars are around; our offspring, Daughter in Law and Outlaw Son all are working. (Daughter phoned in her lunch break, she was surprised how busy she had been today, unexpectedly so). Radio and TV schedules change, news bulletins are shortened, often it is one film after another, or compilations of past programmes or events jumbled together.

In my twenties I often worked, it was easy for me, I was single, living at home whereas other staff would want to go up country to their families. Before New Year's Day was a public holiday, the London Gazette containing the New Year Honours had to be distributed amongst the top people. When I think back to the shelves of bound volumes of the London Gazette, the piles of copies waiting to be bound and how rarely they were consulted the world of the Internet seems so green. The library had bound volumes of The Times too, even though by then it was available on microfilm. I remember asking the Chief Librarian why we didn't have microfilm copies and he boomed at me "We can't ask Lord Mountbatten to look at a microfilm"! Presumably had Mountbatten asked to see an issue of the Thunderer a librarian would have had to carry the volumes to him, as far as I know it never happened. Thankfully, even then I could hardly lift them.

One of my many Christmas gifts was a new spiral bound note book, all very girly and pink which is me (I hope), said notebook is to be used to help me structure all this free time I have but can waste. So, at the back I have a page headed up Blog ideas, have remembered to date it and write on the top line Even with lists I try to date everything, cannot remember who or where this was installed into me. Blog ideas all seem very positive and relating to the season so I shall include these ideas and thoughts. When asked if we had a good Christmas I answer very positively yes, because we feel this year the gifts we gave were a surprise and a success, I love giving pleasure and happiness to family and friends, I worry about finding the 'right' gift to match the person.

Christmas Day was family, this year our turn to spend the day with our adult children and other halves at my cousins, a traditional time when the only TV programme watched was the Queen's Speech, instead games included a beetle drive with coloured plastic beetle parts and a 1930s game - Plus and Minus. I remember my father talking about this, cousin must have inherited the family set,

Lots of adding up, taking away and laughter from the youngsters.

Boxing Day found us, with daughter and her young man in Richmond, walking past a very fast flowing River Thames before managing to climb through the Terrace Gardens to take in the View, the only one legally protected. Quite cold weather, no cows in Petersham Meadows, the mist there was quite noticeable. The Terrace Gardens is another one of the places that has been part of my life for ever. I took my first photos here, with my Kodak Brownie 127, I was about 10 or 11 and have enjoyed snapping ever since.

As I have organised my Blog Ideas I shall close this, maybe read more of book given me by my daughter, Listening to the Light: how to bring Quaker simplicity and integrity into our lives by Jim Pym. So appropriate, especially after attending the Quaker funeral and Memorial Meeting for my cousin this year. Also need to move on Winter in Madrid by C. J. Sansom for reading group, this book is not holding my interest at all.


  1. Yes, the time "in between the years" (as we call it in Germany, i.e. from after Christmas until the New Year) is something special. I like it very much, and for me, it has to be mostly quiet, with enough time and space to myself so that I can collect my thoughts and gather new strength for the 12 months ahead.
    Happy New Year to you!

  2. My new notebooks were some of my best presents this year.

    I hope you had an amazing Christmas and New Year!

    Sft x