Counting Down to Christmas


Hallelujah! With only 10 days to go until Christmas, the scaffolding is down and we have light in the flat again. The garden is, however, a disaster area, strewn with windblown carrier bags, stray coffee cups and other builders’ flotsam and jetsam. The lawn, which is normally a quagmire, defies any kind of positive description. There’s nothing for it other than to leave it looking like a set from Saving Private Ryan until the spring, when some serious remedial action will be required. I’d be up for ripping it up, but him indoors won’t have any of that. There have been a few plant casualties – those that haven’t responded well to the dry shade – but nothing that can’t be replaced. At least the goldfish seem happy to see the sun again.

Meanwhile, indoors, it’s been a full-on weekend of festive decorating. The tree is up, a splendid 10 footer with over 800 lights and 200 decorations. The sideboards are decked with pine and spruce branches which smell wonderful. Yesterday I let my creative side go with an arrangement of beautiful Hydrangea flowers, combined with deep red Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) and pussy willow. When the Amaryllis come out they should be spectacular. Was there ever a more glamorous, operatic flower?

All we needed then was company, which came in the form of our dear friends Rachel, Simon, Jack and Scarlett. They made the flat come alive. We’re now feeling properly festive and ready for the week ahead. Merry Christmas everyone!


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