Today has been a jolly busy day here in the Dales. Well it has for me at any rate. This morning friend S and I drove over to our local nursery twelve miles or so away (and through some of the most beautiful Swaledale scenery) to stock up on Christmas plants.
I bought a holly wreath for my first husband's grave, a poinsettia plant, three cyclamen in full flower, a solanum covered in orange berries and a bowl of fern surrounded by white hyacinths. They are now spread around the house and it begins to look as though Christmas might well be coming soon.
After a hasty lunch friend W and I, along with friend S. sped off to Teeside Park at Stockton on Tees to that store few of us could manage without at Christmas - Marks and Spenser. Here I bought my turkey and a large piece of gammon, along with lots of nibbles and canapes for Boxing Day. Now they are all in the freezer and another aspect of Christmas can be ticked off my list.
I do love the run up to Christmas with its organising, its stocking up of all store cupboards, its planning. Goodness me, I am merely having seven people to lunch and evening meal on Boxing Day and a group of friends on New Year's eve, when I shall be cooking a meal, but I seem to be getting enough food in to feed an army.
After a cloudy and rather miserable day, the evening sky as friend W drove back from Teeside, was absolutely beautiful - a mixture of duck egg blue sky and apricot clouds. S and I were lucky that we could just sit there and admire it. Poor W had to keep her eye on the road as the traffic was horrendous. We all agreed that we are so lucky to live here in the Dales where traffic is so light and we can enjoy the peace and tranquility without all the pushing and shoving and overtaking we experienced on the way back.