Sunday, 7 December 2014

A First Taste of Winter.

Well, it had to come didn't it; that first morning when the wind was blowing from the North East and was strong and cutting. And when one minute there would be a 'glishy' sun, the next black clouds would cover the sun and heavy sleet/snow would fall for a few minutes.   In other words it is a day when it is better for staying indoors by the wood burner than it is for walking.   The farmer kindly took Tess for her lunchtime walk - I couldn't face the cold.

I imagine the television will be on before long as it is the Snooker final from the Barbican (O'Sullivan v Trump) and the farmer is a keen fan.  I am not but I must say that last night's cliff hanger of a semi final did find me putting down my book (Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch) and watching the action.

Our little town switched on its Christmas lights last night and Santa made a visit to the market square.   Tonight our village is doing the same (mince pies and mulled wine added).   We just have to face up to it - Christmas is creeping nearer.

We resist decorating until Christmas Eve when we make a real day of it, putting up the holly wreaths and the lights, stoking up the fires, heating the mince pies and starting Christmas from that point.   There will be no berries left on the variegated holly tree which stands just outside the kitchen window - a blackbird visits daily and takes a few at a time (well, I presume it is the same bird).   I don't really begrudge him his feed - his need is far greater than ours.

When I lived in the Midlands my then husband and I used to visit Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire at the beginning of December to see the Mistletoe Auction (and hopefully to buy a bunch to hang in the doorway).   Driving through Herefordshire and Worcestershire you realise just how plentiful mistletoe is as it hangs in great swags from all the trees in the apple orchards.   I have tried poking a seed down into the branches of apple trees many times over the years but I have never succeeded in getting one to grow.

As I write this the sun is shining again.   The farmer has just come back from his walk and tells me that Tess has jumped into my chair by the Aga and settled down on my cushion for the afternoon.   She is not allowed on the furniture, but I just haven't the heart to move her (and what is more she knows it).   I am far too daft with that dog. 


Elizabeth said...

I can picture the day exactly!
Very well described.
Ah Worcestershire and Herefordshire - if I ever live in England again I think I would like to be there.
You must let me know what you think of The Goldfinch.
I must say TV and computer etc. make winter much more tolerable.
Always remember legs red on one side from sitting by the fire - and being allowed to put the gas fire on in my bedroom half an hour before I went to bed - so it was possible to undress without expiring from cold...

Philip said...

I do like the sound of a glishy sun. Can you go into more detail. Is it a neologism of yours or from a local dialect?

donna baker said...

Yes, let us know what you thought of The Goldfinch. Woe is winter for me. Mistletoe is our state flower or something like that. I've heard it kills the tree as it is parasitic, but I'm glad the custom is alive over the pond like here. I must say your custom of decorating on Xmas eve is a rarity. You must leave it all up for some time after Xmas.

Twiggy said...

Your day sounds very cosy. We visited Ikea this afternoon and although we enjoyed our Swedish meatball lunch, we didn't enjoy strapping our new mattress to the car roof bars in a gale and sleet - brrrrrrr !

MorningAJ said...

It rained here this morning but fortunately the temperature has stayed above sleeting. It's on the way though. I can feel it.

jinxxxygirl said...

Mistletoe....Hubby and i affectionately call it kissing under the as that is what Mistletoe is... a fungus. It grows in Texas and we have seen it here in California too. Hubby tells me it can kill a tree if it gets too much on it... or the tree is stressed in some other way like a drought the mistletoe can debilitate it further.....

I've often wondered who in the world first thought it was romantic to 'kiss under the fungus'??? lol Stay warm Weaver. Hugs! deb

Rachel Phillips said...

It has been a lovely day here.

Donna Tart will always fill 1000 pages when anyone else could say the same thing in 500.

Cloudia said...

Thank you for hosting us to this companionable visit. 😺

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

We've been trying to get mistletoe to grow in two of our apples for years. No luck though.
We put our decs. up on the 17th of December, which is my sister's birthday and we would always decorate for her party. She is over 70 now but the tradition remains.

Terry and Linda said...

I'm already sick of winter and it has just started.


angryparsnip said...

You described your winter day so well that I was shivering.
Your Christmas Eve sounds so lovely.
I like to decorate early, so that I can see and enjoy all the lights and decorations that only come out once a year.
I like to have everything under control, so I can sit back and enjoy the month of December.
Mistletoe, despise it. It must be different where you live like the drawings on cards.
Here in Arizona it is a parasite.
It latches on to trees, digs into the branches and trunk and kills.
I have the gardener out twice a year to walk all the property and
cut it out and then treat the tree.

Enjoy your cosy day by the fire.

cheers, parsnip

Gwil W said...

After reading that, I'm going to pour a glass of port and glance at my books from today's xmas flea market. Today I made an advent calendar. No sign of wintery or very cold weather yet but it has been raining all day.

Heather said...

We have all grown soft since our youth when there was frost on the inside of the bedroom window and the bathroom was always freezing cold. Thank goodness those times are past.
I cheat and use artificial berries to add a bit of festive cheer to my holly and ivy.
Our neighbours put up their Christmas lights and door wreath yesterday but I usually do ours the nearest weekend to Christmas and take them down around 5th January. I'm having a job to work up any enthusiasm this year.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Funny how customs, and attitudes to mistletoe vary from place to place isn't it? Sometimes I can't help looking forward to January 2nd, when it is all over. Thanks for the visit.