Friday 14 December 2018


Good morning, one and all.  It's very cold out there; there's solid ice on dad's garage roof and in the bird bath!  The winter coat I bought a month or so ago proved its worth yesterday - my head and hands were freezing (really I should have worn my hat, scarf and gloves) but my body remained nice and warm.

I didn't do an awful lot yesterday but the ironing basket at home is temporarily empty and there's very little in the washing basket, a satistying state of affairs that won't really last very long at all!

I think today will be more of the same.  Here, with Mum and Dad, it is sheet changing day so there will be washing and drying, etc.  I have the meals planned  - fortunately they are happy with my Slimming World friendly meals - and between chores, Mum is going to help me decorate their Christmas tree.
I gather that the knitted nativity set has attracted great interest from visitors which is gratifying.

Today's Advent offering is a well known poem, The Oxen, by Thomas Hardy.  It was published during WW1 but has none of the doom and gloom of much poetry of that time.  To me, it speaks of the persistence and comfort of old faith, despite the loss of specifics, and looks both backward and forward, most appropriate for the time of year.  Hardy is not really a cheerful writer but I detect cheer and positivity in this poem as well as a yearning for a timepast when things were hopeful and sure and unshadowed.

The Oxen
by Thomas Hardy

Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
“Now they are all on their knees,”
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.

We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.

So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
“Come; see the oxen kneel,

“In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,”
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.


  1. It definitely looks chilly outside this morning and I expect I'll be needing to scrape the car windscreen. Keep cosy and warm, and enjoy decorating the tree. X

  2. You too, Jules. I'm hoping not to need the car today but a brisk walk would be just the ticket. I might stroll down to Bickerdikes (nice garden centre) again!

  3. Lovely verse by one of my favourite authors. Oh and by the way I gave your knitted nativity set to some lovely friends who were completely gobsmacked and promptly packed away a beautiful porcelain set they had used for years and yours got pride of place.

  4. It's freezing here! We finished carol playing at about 7:45pm last night and my car windscreen was frozen inside and out.

  5. How lovely, Diane, thank you for ltting me know. I'm glad it is bringing pleasure.

    Eileen, it's a bit milder now but still really chilly. Proper winter!