You know the holiday time is almost over when you find you're down to the last 2 luxury face wipes in the packet. I had to add a drop of water to the luxury body wash himself bought me to use over the holidays in the shower this morning in order to make it last for the final three days.
It has been a good Winter Festival. Starting with the Winter Solstice.
I wore my Winter Solsice Poncho, which I love to bits
We made one of the best Christmas dinners we've made for years. Everything worked and tasted delicious and there were no left overs, nothing to throw away.
We spent quiet evenings by candlelight
With excellent drinks
Rose Petal Martini complete with dried edible rose petal! And himself able to drink properly for the first time for years which meant he could really enjoy the scotch I bought him and we had a splendid bottle of Running Duck red with our Christmas lunch.
We managed to make both sitting rooms look festive. The Christmas tree always goes into the more formal sitting room so that it is out of the way of the dog and where more room can be made for it, but that always used to mean that the dog den, where we probably spend most of our time looked a little neglected so it gets the wreath and the bunting and once again I made a twig tree.
We tried to be sensible with presents this year. Not sure we entirely managed it. Yes that is a retro style pink radio in the first picture on this post and my new PIP Studio rucksack has been peeping into some of the crochet pictures I took for the crochet round up.
And speaking of round ups...
I'm not a great one for looking back, it tends to lead to looking back in anger and I'd really rather not but 2014 was an odd kind of year.
On the home front for us it was quite definitely the "year of the garden." We bought this house partly because of the garden, all the trees and fruit bushes and green was the perfect balm after life in the centre of the city surrounded by nothing but bricks and neglected council trees. But those tress and fruit bushes had become a serious problem over the years. They were old to start with and the maintenance factor was just too high. The idea of trying to do anything in the garden was fraught with difficulty for both of us, because just clearing the ground to be able to actually do anything resulted in two worn out middle aged hippies with chronically bad backs. So after a couple of days wrestling with the strimmer and the branch loppers resulted in himself being flat on his back for a week I decided it was time to call in the cavalry and engage a gardener. Best. Decision. Ever. I had the money from last years bonus to be able to spend a few bob getting the garden into something we could manage and it was worth every penny. It's sleeping now of course...
But it is no longer overgrown. The path is visible and useable all the way to the top. There is new trellis replacing the tress that had to be cut down and the bushes that we removed. The green house has been repaired and the old shed repainted and all the borders cleared so that we can plant things. I can stroll all the way up to the newly planted meadow at the top without having to fight my way like Livingstone through the jungle. I love it so much!
I guess for this to be the first part of a complete round up I must mention the job. 2014 was in the end a year of tremendous change. We moved offices in London to two grand new buildings within a short stroll of each other in Kensington and whilst the main building may have a fabulour restaurant, a bar and an indoor garden complete with swing the new IT building has the most fabulous art deco loos. They are actually listed and cannot be changed in any way!
It's not a grat picture but I think you get the idea.
Anyone who knows me in real life knows that the last 3 years at work have been far from easy. The change of ownership of the company resulted in some changes in IT that have left most of the old legacy IT folks, myself included, feeling very battered and left some of us, again myself in particular, asking some very hard questions. Like 'is it time to perhaps move on.' Despite the fact that it was lovely to hear many of my colleagues from the business side telling me to please just hang on in there, and things would change, I admit I came very close to putting the house on the market and seeking employment (including significant salary drop) elsewhere. Well two weeks before the holiday I was glad I'd stuck it out. Changes were made at the top of IT that resulted in a lot of us heading into Christmas with much lighter hearts and a great deal more optimism about the future. Let's hope it stays that way for a while.
On a personal note 2014 was the year of a realisation that I never expected in a million years. A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, a much younger me went through an experience I would never wish on anyone ever in a million years. I dealt with it as best I could at the time, but I have always known that it was a big contributory factor to a lot of stuff in my life, including the breakdown of my first marriage. I have also always known, that had what happened to me happened, say at work, I would have handled it a lot better than I did. The fact that it all happened in a religious/church environment put everything in a different context and left me floundering. It is strange how totally unrelated yet similar events trigger realisations that suddenly bring a level of clarity and release you never expected. One evening after watching the news about yet another round of trials of old men on trial for sexual misconduct with young women I suddenly turned to himself and said. "It's only just occured to me that I could go to the police about what happened at church all those years ago." Himself grinned and replied "I wondered when you'd realise." He then asked if I wanted to. I don't, of course, but just knowing that I could, that men are going to prison for doing far less than what happened to me at the hands of a so called christian man, in a so called christian setting has made a boat load of difference. I was abused by a man who should have known better and it wasn't all my fault, the way I was lead to believe it was at the time. I truly was innocent. I might have been a married woman, but I was innocent in so many ways and he was the sinner, the one doing wrong, the one who many years later was punished in a way, kind of, but not enough, never enough. But... the best revenge is to live well and oh boy do I live well and I have done it all my own way, on my own nickel with himself beside me every step. Life is pretty good here in the delapidated old farm house, half way up a mountain in the middle of rural Wales.
Well that was all a bit cathartic and probably needed saying so I will be back tomorrow with the rest of 2014 and my thoughts on the biggest happiest event of the year along with my thoughts on the world of crochet blogging and other... stuff!
Love O. xx