Tuesday, December 30, 2008

6th Day of Christmas..

...my true love sent to me...six geese a - laying...

I was rather taken with the moon today as I cycled home. Hung low in the sky the shadowed orb glistened in the deep of the sky, the crescent of light cutting through like a scythe. It was almost as if it were a tree bauble or a lampshade backlit of a velvet curtain.

The soft colour of the crescent moon sent me in reveries over the yarn I'm knitting with at the moment. A half price bargain from John Lewis, I'm making a baby blanket with Rowan Cashsoft Chunky for my colleague's child due at the end of January. It's a fantastic blend of 57% extra fine merino 33% acrylic microfibre, 10% cashmere.

I'm making strips of basketweave and stocking stitch and will weave them together. Hopefully I have enough balls. It's a joy to knit with real yarn, not rubbish acrylic. It's even machine washable!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Advent 7: Walking without Rest

In the days that have passed I have been so very ill with Andy's cold. But as I've got better I've been thinking and reading more. My book at the moment is The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder. You have to read a chapter a day until Christmas, like an advent calendar in book form. It follows Gaarder's story within a story format and it is wonderful. 

I adore his prose. It is sparse and descriptive all at once. I feel transported to his world where people are running through time to see the Christ child. Walking and running with out rest. 

What would it be like to experience that?

This weekend I have been visiting Dunster in Somerset with Tom's mother and her husband. They light up the village with candles and have entertainment, all the shops and restaurants opening late into the evening. Walking was on my mind again as we tramped round wrapped up in many layers. If Jesus was born in the winter, which he wasn't but hey, then he could well have been in the snow in the Jerusalem hills. Imagine tramping in the cold with a new child. So many people are experiencing this right now. 

It seemed so priviliged to be harking back to another era, and pretending with candles. I hated how people were moaning the whole evening, moaning they had to pay, that it wasn't as good as last year. What's a few more pounds to play make believe when others are starving in the cold. Whilst wasteful, you have no right to be complaining.

...and it was a beautiful evening.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Advent 1: Darning my Socks

Darning my socks, my well worn labours of love, I sit in the warm. Thinking. On this auspicious night of two planets dancing with the moon, I ponder. I dream.

I dream of decorations given with joy, love and bittersweetness for futures. Of Christmases with essential pieces missing and how these things can be reconciled. I dream of foods made in time honoured ways by hands new to these skills, these moments.

This season is my season. I will repent, I will prepare, and I will honour. In this time of waiting for the new and wonderful I think think of the past and take from it, recognising the importance of waiting.

Remembering 1:
Advent and Christmas starts with the joining together of many voices in an old old church. Peering out over be - hatted heads lit up in the glow of many candles, and the steam of hot breath. It really begins in the last chorus of "O come O come Emmanuel" when I listen out for my dad's voice playing chase and catch with the voices of the congregation as he sings the tenor part for one line, because he can, and the bass part for the other.

This year I shared this moment, the moment of many years of my life in a church so old the pews are boxes to keep you from being distracted by your neighbours. I am thankful for it, and expectant of sharing it for many years to come.

Tom's Awesome Kedgeree

Boil as per normal, about one large mug of rice.
Hard boil 3-4 eggs depending on size.
Poach Smocked haddock, say 300g, in milk/water (easiest done in a bowl
in the mwave, one min on full, leave for a min or so, one min on full,
leave etc untill cooked and flakable).
In a large pan, fry one small finely chopped onion, a LITTLE garlic, and
OPTIONAL a couple of chopped mushrooms and any other veg that appeal.
then chuck in the rice, a little curry powder, a little paprika and a
lot of turmeric.
Then add egg and haddock, once hot through-out add a small pot of cream,
untill err creamy and bright yellow, salt and pepper (and extra turmeric
if not yellow enough) as appropriate. Serve immediately, if this is not
possible, do not add the cream untill ready to serve.