Thursday, 22 December 2011

Happy Solstice to all!!

Apparently the winter solstice happened this morning, Thursday 22 December 2011, at either 5.03am or 5.30am.  I can't remember which, but one of those.  I was asleep when it happened so missed it anyway but it doesn't matter because WE'RE ON OUR WAY BACK TO THE SUMMER!!!

And 2012's summer had better be hotter than 2011's and 2010's was or else...well, I'm going to be cold and miserable again because there isn't really that much I can do about it.

It's been a fairly eventful few days here at Jones Towers.  On Monday my washing machine decided that RIGHT NOW would be a really good time to start dying.  Fecker.  I put on a wash, disappeared up two flights of stairs to do something in my jewellery workshop/office, when suddenly I could hear the most godawful screeching and squealing and banging.  First of all I thought it was the neighbours who can't seem to let a week go by without getting their tools out (and not in a fun way) but as I descended the stairs to the sitting room, the noise got louder and Sylvester was cowering in his box, with his eyes like black holes and his ears flat against his head and I realised the noise was coming from inside my house.

I hurtled downstairs (the washing machine and tumble dryer live in a big cupboard in our downstairs study) and discovered that the washing machine had gone into its final multi-thousand rpm spin cycle and simultaneously had become possessed by a banshee.  Here, listen to this:

I taped it to show TLH what was going on.  *Sigh*  Just before Christmas too, when it's going to be impossible to get anyone to deliver a new one.  I've decided I can actually continue to use it until just before it goes into the final spin whereupon I shall be forced to leap like a gazelle and shut it off whereupon the tumble dryer will have to just work a bit harder to dry the clothes out.

I understand from two separate sources that Guildford is actually very quiet at the moment (which is odd, considering there's only 2 shopping days left till Giftmas) so I think I'll tempt fate and head there this afternoon to check out some white goods.  Oh, the glamour.

And what was also doubly weird was my brain twin, the erudite Katyboo, also underwent a catastrophe her washing machine on Monday.  We are so similar that I sometimes think we are the same person living in two separate bodies, like unidentical twins that were separated at birth.  I think we should sit our respective mothers down and have a chat about this...

Last weekend, though, we put the tree up.  Despite 'enhancing' my pictures with various Christmassy themes, I'm not feeling especially one with the season this year (like most years, actually), but I do quite like having the tree with its tinsel and coloured lights up and can't really imagine not having one (although I did suggest it to TLH one year.  He did not approve).

As ever, and as he has done for at least the last decade, Sylvester 'helped' by getting into the box the tree lives in (we have an artificial one because I'll be buggered if I'm going to be hoovering up pine needles for the next three months).  It will be a sad, sad Christmas indeed when he's no longer around to help out like this.

Sylvester discovers the xmas tree box

Prepares to insert himself

Cat insertion successful

Giving me the stink eye as he now wishes to be left alone.

He gets to stay in there until the tree decorating has been done, then he has to be cajoled out as it needs to be returned to the loft.  It's his annual ritual and he does it very well.  Same time next year, buddy.

Our tree is really quite boring and normal in terms of its decorations but we have a few that I'm particularly fond of:

This is a fused glass snowman that we particularly liked because we couldn't decide whether it looked like Oliver Hardy or Adolf Hitler.

This is a tiny little Baby Jebus in half a walnut shell that I got from the Christmas market in Budapest a couple of years ago.  I think it cost me all of about 50p - it was just too cute not to buy!

This year they seem to have left us alone, but in previous years we've had a bit of a rat problem at the end of the garden.  They managed to gnaw holes into the shed and were living in there, and eating the bird food that I was putting out.  I used to see them shimmying up the poles to sit in the feeders.  And the cats were rubbish at catching them, except for the late Damian who was brilliant, but he's no longer with us and, weirdly, neither are the rats.  I'm still feeding the birds though so I've no idea what's going on.  Anyway, I got quite fond of them and their successful survivalist ways so when I saw this mouse/rat hanging ornament, I had to have it to hang on the tree.

Finally, there's an Amsterdam brothel.  There used to be (and still may be, for all I know) a little shop very close to the flower market that sold nothing but christmas decorations all year round.  We got a shooting star, a pair of clogs and a windmill in blue and white delft, and I absolutely couldn't resist this - well, would you?!?

So, we have three days to go.  The tree's up.  All the presents are wrapped.  I'm starting to clean the house (woe, fie and a pox on it).  All I have to do now is collect the turkey tomorrow and start making some of the side dishes and we're good to go.  This year will be the first ever time that we're hosting Christmas at our house.  We normally go to TLH's parents in his native homeland but that's not happening until later, so I have my mum and stepdad and TLH's sister coming over to ours.  Not too many, which is a blessing, because I can't really fit many more than that in our house as it is.

If I don't speak to you again before Sunday, I hope your Christmas day is not too stressful and you all get a chance to sit down with a glass of something and put your feet up at some point.  Oh, and best wishes for New Year!


pinklea said...

I love that brothel ornament! Somehow, it's just ... so ... you ... but not that you're a hooker or anything, just that it seems to be something that you would get a huge kick out of and so of course you would have to buy it, and it's funny, and ... okay, I'll stop now. Happy Christmas to you and TLH! xoxo

imagespast said...

I know, I know, I'm a bit late, but just catching up with my blog reading. I LOVE your tree ornaments - hilarious and so much fun :-) I hope Sylvester continues to take his job seriously too. Happy New Year!