Sunday, December 03, 2006

Bentwood chairs and Mince Pies

A moment to reflect before the start of a busy week. Yesterday's concert went well and my guests all at least appeared to enjoy themselves. As soon as the concert ended it was straight off to H's 'The Beautiful and the Damned' party at Nordic Bar. Everyone there had made a real effort so I felt a little out of place in concert dress. Was great to see H but as I was so tired we decided to leave relatively early. B & C drove us back to Primrose Hill where they gave us an early Christmas present: 2 dark and 1 white bentwood chairs. They are beautiful and a welcome addition to our flat (as 3 of our present dining room chairs are held together with tape; victims of one party or another). We have put the white one in our bedroom. The room is white with light curtains and bedding and dark wood dressing table and shelves, so the white chair looks striking. I am half considering finding some beautiful silk underwear to hang over it.

It was a pleasant surprise to wake up this morning at 10am, refreshed with no hang over in sight. As we do not usually go to be until well into Sunday morning, our recent waking times have been rather later, so it was a real pleasure to have a whole day. M brought me tea in bed and then cooked a beautiful breakfast. We undertook several household maintenance tasks including re-hanging the curtains before venturing outside for a walk and then to an advent service at the local church. We have then spent the evening cooking. I made a Christmas style ham and 2 dozen mince pies. Boiling the ham in cider and with a clove studded onion before baking it makes all the difference and I look forward to my sandwiches tomorrow.

So Monday will bring the December meeting of the WI and the annual mince pie competition. I have selected 6 from my 2 dozen to take along as my entry. I am also looking forward to the port tasting, as I am a big fan of port. Tuesday will see tea at Parlour at Sketch (possibly more on this opportunity at a later date) followed by the Liberty Card Holder Christmas shopping evening. Wednesday is the preview of an exhibition and then Friday is my company's Christmas Party at a hotel on Park Lane.

Therefore I am enjoying the peace and quiet of this Sunday evening; I am sat here with a pot of tea with the gentle sound of the cricket in the background. M is sat in the kitchen with a glass of wine watching the action and periodically the commentators are punctuated by his exclamations. The air smells of roasted ham, mince pies and mulled wine mingled with the scent of clean washing, which is hanging on the radiator. And for once, it is beautiful and warm. This flat benefits from high ceilings and large windows, both of which conspire to inflated heating bills. But in the summer, the light is wonderful and pours in. The bathroom, a tiny but exposed room is a particular victim. In summer, I can lie in the bath in the sunlight looking out of the window; in the winter, I spend as little time in there as possible (even with the radiator, candles and M popping in with a boiled kettle, it is hard to spend any time relaxing in the bath). But it is our flat and I love it. And this will be our first Christmas together, both in terms of living together and actually together, as previously we have each gone to our respective parents. So I am very excited and enjoying every minute of the planning of trees, cards, cake making and present buying.

But for now, I think that it is time to stop writing and instead time to get ready for bed.


lain said...

I agree totally with the Christmas feeling - it is also our first Christmas together and we have gone totally overboard with all the decorations etc. that we've bought. But hey, you can only do it once!

Hope the mince pie competition went well - let me know how you got on!

Rachel said...

Thanks Lain. Mince pie competition went ok; I didn't win but the taster was complimentary about my pies. The winning ones looked more like sausage rolls so I didn't really mind. The prize was an embroidered apron saying Fulham WI Mince Pie Competition Winner 2006, which was why I was a little disappointed!