Tiny Hearts and Christmas Trees

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…. Oh, I know it’s still just mid-November, but after 20 years in the UK I have finally fallen victim to way-too-early Christmas decorations. Made poor B lift down the huge wooden box with all our decorations from on top of our wardrobes and have arranged the fairy lights across the mantle piece and my little Lucia procession are singing their tiny hearts out on top of the tall chest of drawers in the living room. Because BT suck bigstyle, we had to move the router there, so instead of the big photo frame of B and his oldest son taken at the graduation, the ugly router thing now holds pride of place. I’m going to make B move it back, but it’ll have to be another day as he’s all huffy and puffy after moving things around and reorganising cables and stuff all over the place. Also, I felt making him come with me to get a Christmas tree would be pushing it, so that’ll have to wait until next weekend.

Every December, I have gone to the Lucia performance at the Swedish Church in Marylebone, and last year B came along for the first time. Monkey was predictably bored and couldn’t understand the fuss over a bunch of Swedes dressed in long, white robes and the Lucia with her crown of candles on her head, but it’s the most beautiful tradition I know. Every time, when I sit there in the church benches, once they dim the lights and I hear the first gentle notes of ‘Sankta Lucia’, I get so emotional and have to bite my lip to keep the tears in my eyes from spilling over.

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This year, the dear friend I refer to as Big Sis, had as usual arranged tickets for all of us, but as it turns out, B and I are now heading for Stockholm that weekend. It’ll be the first time since 1994 that I am in my native country for Lucia – 13th of December. I’ll make sure I find someplace we can go and watch a procession. There’ll probably be a main one along the streets of El Stockholmo, along with performances in every church, every school hall, most open to the general public.

As we so often do on Sundays, this one was yet another random impulse – we’re baking! Little coconut cookies and breadrolls with cottage cheese. B will as usual be bossed around by Yours Truly, something he puts up with displaying the patience of a saint – I don’t know he does it, I even annoy ME with my OCD-ness.

I’m actually feeling quite stressed. Suddenly I seem to have so much on. November was always going to be full on as far as Alice goes, but I’m at the half way mark now and feeling incredibly confident about it. I have yet to receive back the report from the editor, and although I’m not sure those first three chapters are strong enough, there’s always time to go back over them and pep those up a bit should the editor indeed come back and say they’re a bit flat. It’s hard for me to gauge – I’ve read them so many times over that perhaps that’s why I am bored with them? Also, I have committed to doing the content for the husband of the friend I refer to as my wife. Wifey’s hubby supplies decommissioned ambulances to less developed parts of the world and I promised I’d have all the content done by tomorrow evening.

They’ve sent me most of the information, so it should be fairly straight forward. The only real creative part is the one about him and his motivations for carrying out this type of work, which I should be able to string together based on the interview style questions I got him to answer. The rest should be easy. It’s just been so long since I’ve had an ‘external’ deadline in that way, and I’m feeling the pressure. It’s good though – I’m at my best when I have a gas torch aimed at my round behind.

So, there we are. Christmas has arrived in our gorgeous apartment here in west London, Alice is well on her way to the finish line and although both B and I are a bit off colour with this annoying cold, life is as sweet as ever.

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Gosh, I love our life!

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