Merry Christmas

Beckett enjoys the wrapping paper

My annual Christmas post is very belated this year, because my laptop died last week. While trying to connect to a Zoom call, so that was helpfully dramatic. So I will give you my usual Christmas greeting – merry Christmas! – alongside a quick summary of my holiday so far.

Tim and I have bubbled with a close friend, so we spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as the three of us, plus Beckett. The dog was thoroughly spoiled – including a couple of hours of tearing apart all our wrapping paper – and we all ate too much. It was glorious. Which at least partly makes up for the hideous weather we’ve had the rest of the holiday season.

Christmas tree and new booksI asked my family to only give me a token present each this year, so my stack of new books is a little smaller, but it still looks excellent, and very varied. The books are:

The Lost Spells by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris – a collection of poetry, or “spells”, by MacFarlane with gorgeous illustrations of birds by Morris

Shine by Jessica Jung – a cheesy novel about the world of K-pop by a Hallyu star

Roots by Alex Haley – the modern classic of Black history

A Bit of Difference by Sefi Atta – a contemporary novel about a Nigerian ex-pat who, tired of London, moves back to Lagos

Dinner for Dogs by Henrietta Morrison – a cookbook for making dog food, slightly random gift but if I can bake Beckett’s treats it would save us spending a small fortune on tiny biscuits

Inspired by Simon Savidge, I declared Boxing Day a day of rest, reading and Batman Returns. Tim got up early with the dog while I had a lie-in, then we did a crossword and had breakfast before I disappeared for a long bath (with bath salts hand-made by our bubble friend, featuring rose petals and orange peel, and a bowl of chocolates and cake pressed on me by Tim – I felt thoroughly pampered) and began reading in earnest. I finished two of the three books I was part-way through (The Breaking Point by Daphne du Maurier and Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas by Maya Angelou) and the opening chapter of a third book that I’m still very undecided about (To Leave With the Reindeer by Olivia Rosenthal, which I picked because of the reindeer in the title, but I don’t think there’s going to be anything festive about it).

The rest of our time off work will hopefully be spent quietly relaxing with books, board games, computer games, TV, films, silly quizzes and short dog walks. I have a feeling it will fly by.

I hope you are having a safe, peaceful holiday season.