It was back to the office this morning after twelve glorious days off. Standing on the station waiting for the train this morning in the blusteriest gale it felt like I’d never been away. It’s funny how work time goes so differently from not!work time. My watch strap broke before Christmas and I haven’t got round to getting a new one yet so I’m reliant on either my computer or my crackberry wireless device to tell me the time. Truth be told, I kind of like not having a watch it makes me feel like I’m less… trapped isn’t the word I want, but that’s the sentiment. Whilst I was up in Rural Derbyshire for Christmas I generally had no clue of the time unless I was looking for something else to watch on the old telly box or I’d gone to look for my crackberry to see if anyone was missing me (shallow, I know). It was nice.
Back to Rural Derbyshire though… I spent nine fabulous days at my parents’ basically doing very little outside of familial obligations (which largely entailed entertaining the small members of the family, something not to be sniffed at). I watched a lot of really bad TV (up to and including possibly every episode of The Professionals ever plus various lousy man films) and some not so bad TV, knitted a lot, went for a few glorious walks that involved going up, up to the top of the world when the weather allowed and sporadically wandered into the kitchen to do a bit of cooking. I’ve decided that my 2012 aim is really to get over my love-hate relationship with cooking and turn it into a love-love relationship, I don’t want to see it as a chore/means to an end any more.
At 9am on Christmas morning I was drinking an unset champagne jelly, eating toast and making a pavlova whilst trying to not mention that the last time I made mereingue I’d been in Guides. I am, mes chums, Klassy with a capital K. Oh yes. Thing was, Christmas Eve my poor mother had followed Delia’s champagne jelly recipe to the letter but the dratted things just would not set so twenty four hours later we reluctantly returned to the drawing board. “I’ll make pavolva” I said blithely at around half past eight looking up vaguely from my new book of baking recipes, clearly still half asleep from having crept in at midnight from the pub. I’d made mince pies a couple of days previously, in comparison how difficult could a pavolva be? Erm, a little is all I’ll say on the matter. Luckily, mereingue – like pastry – doesn’t have a hissy fit if you feel the need to keep opening the oven door every five minutes to poke at it. On the plus side, it all turned out fine (hurrah for Good Housekeeping, say I) and it was jolly yummy.
So I had seafood with trimmings for Christmas dinner, I kid you not. It was ace. Basically I’m not that giant a fan of meat and I’d already had two turkey dinners before Christmas – you see where I’m going? I have been known for my Christmas dinner previously to just have trimmings, no meat no alternative at all (these were mostly in my teenage vegetarian years – the vegetarianism fell by the wayside when I moved to France for a year). In recent years I’ve made a token gesture to the turkey and had a tiny couple of pieces but… well, seafood is frankly vastly more fun. Christmas dinner was eaten at Favourite Auntie’s house, cooked in Favourite Auntie’s Aga and washed down with a vast quantity of vino. It was ace.
My festive knitting was limited to two (fairly big) projects: a blanket for my Big Nephew and a cardigan for myself (yes, the grey Fair Isle cardigan I’ve been going on about for ages). A couple of years ago I knitted my mother a mitre squared blanket which my Big Nephew is now quite attached to so he’s getting his own so my mother has a chance of reclaiming ownership of hers. I love mitre squares, they are terribly soothing and a 60 stitch one takes approximately one episode of West Wing to knit. What could be better? My cardigan currently has a back, one front and half a sleeve; I’ve found that, as usual, my concentration span has completely hit the fan since coming back to London.
Today has involved some pretty serious retail therapy to try and get myself over the shock of the return to the office. Actually, I think I consider books and yarn to be essentials in my life, new towels on the other hand I think make me some kind of scary grown up type and this bothers me. I may need an Allegedly Healthy Cookie to get over this. And, on the subject of resolutions (which we weren’t), tomorrow I must not sleep through my alarm and wake up too late to have breakfast because, much as I agree with Kathryn’s assertion that cake is breakfast, it doesn’t do my diet masses of favours… 😉