With less than a week to go to Christmas Day, we gave up searching for a reasonably priced traditional tree and settled instead for what we already had. So out from the cold I brought a lollipop holly, a sweet-bay tree (lauris nobilis) and a Christmas box (sarcococca hookeriana humilis) - all evergreens that were flourishing in pots on my mini-terrace under the cider-apple tree. The Christmas box has sweetly scented but insignificant white flowers which are just about to open in the warmth of the lounge. Decorations have been kept simple, just some red and gold baubles. We have tucked this 'arrangement' into a corner by the sideboard. No fairy lights, but we have lit three candles on a high window cill; the roadside window lacks wooden shutters (we would never reach up to shut them) and so passers-by can see into the candlelight-room as dusk approaches. That is, if anyone walks past - it's extremely cold here in the high Cotswolds, with an easterly wind; down to -9C last night (15.8F).
And now an enormous 'thankyou' to everyone who left me such kind messages after my unexpected hospital stay. I really did appreciate them, and apologise for not responding personally to each one. I am absolutely fine, such a silly scare; but it's odd how timing can so affect the aftermath. Even after a fortnight back home, I still haven't caught up with myself; it felt as if I had lost a week of work and have much to do before I can take a break over the festive fortnight that we try to keep free for family and friends; and for me personally, catching up on all the blog posts I have missed - and for some creative journaling in paper and fabric.