Mmm, the roast chestnuts you were telling me about sound very tempting – I will add them to my Christmas shopping list! Your post started me thinking about all the delicious aromas that we associate with Christmas and it’s also one of the themes of a book I’ve been reading lately, Nigel Slater’sThe Christmas Chronicles. As I mentioned on Instagram , I first read about it on Nikki Garnett’s blog, midlifechic and then ordered it from my local library. It offers an inspiring view of winter as a season to be savoured and enjoyed rather than endured and, to help with this, it suggests filling the house with the scents of the season.
Evergreens, bay and hyacinths
As well as the Christmas tree and evergreen garlands, Nigel Slater suggests using bay leaves, bay oil or candles and, my particular favourite, hyacinths. If you haven’t planned ahead and planted your own to flower at Christmas, they aren’t expensive to buy, ready potted and in bud, and they’ll add colour and scent to the house for several weeks. I think they always seem like a promise of spring, which I can always do with at this dark time of the year.
As this is our last post in 2018, I’d like to wish you and everyone who reads our blog a wonderful Christmas and all the very best for the new year. I will see you here again on January 18th. Until then,
I’m glad to hear the gingerbreadwent down well. I’ll look for some more recipes for us to try before long. Perhaps something savoury next time.
How are you getting along with cutting down on using your phone? I’ve just had an unplanned Digital Detox as we’ve been to see G’s Mum who doesn’t have Wi-Fi. I must admit, I enjoyed being away from the internet and using the time to read more, though I do seem to have slipped back into old habits now we’re home again. Perhaps the trick for me is to pretend I’m in north Wales.
Finding a new home for old furniture
Like you, I’ve been thinking lately about clearing some clutter. We’ve recently redecorated our bedroom and have had to part with some wardrobes and other furniture that was surplus to requirement. Although our local council will collect large items, I didn’t want them to go to landfill. They were serviceable but I didn’t feel confident in trying to sell them ourselves, so what to do with them? Fortunately, after searching online, I realised that the British Heart Foundation have a furniture shop nearby. They were really helpful; after sending them an email, they called me back to arrange for their staff to collect the furniture. They arrived right on time and were very professional. A couple of weeks later, we received a letter to let us know how much money the furniture had raised. Certainly better than sending it to the skip!
Your unwanted item might be perfect for someone
When something hasn’t been suitable for donation to a charity shop, the other option I’ve used in the past is Freecycle. I’m not sure if you have this in the US, but it’s a website where people can list things they no longer want or post requests for items they need, so you can also match your item to someone who is looking for that very thing. It can be really rewarding to pass possessions on to new owners; when my parents moved house we used Freecycle to rehome some large garden planters full of spring bulbs. They went to a gardening-mad couple who were thrilled with them, as the stone had aged beautifully in the time my parents had enjoyed owning them.
I’ll be using Freecycle again soon, as during the recent wintry weather, two inches of snow ended up in our attic. Fortunately, we managed to clear it out before it melted, but it reminded us that we have far too much stored up there and now’s the time to sort it out!
P.S I should also tell you about two acts of kindness during our renovations. We used a local carpenter and decorator and, accidentally, the decorator damaged one of our new wardrobes. Not only did the carpenter sort it out for us at no cost, but the decorator bought wine and flowers to thank us for our patience, and beer to thank the carpenter. Top customer service and all-round kind behaviour – big firms take note!