Good morning. Today is the fourth Sunday in Advent and time for a change of banner.
Sadly, all my fond and lovely plans for a small scale family Christmas have been blown out of the water as the South East goes into tier four and Christmas is more or less cancelled.
Dave came round last night to pick up the Christmas bits and bobs. I disgraced myself by bursting into tears, silly me and poor Dave and Anna because, in all the faff, I totally forgot that Beth had bought their presents round so they could go under the tree so now they won't have them for Christmas Day
To be fair, I guess I am one of the lucky ones. Dave and Anna are out of the Christmas picture but Beth and Alex, as my support bubble, can still visit, both on Christmas day and at other times, better than the very first lockdown in March. For that, I am extremely thankful. Thankful that for many people in my position, we can still have face to face contact and sorrowful that for many others, they are now entirely alone. That is truly not good.
OK, I wrote the above yesterday evening (hence the divider) and, after a bit of a restless night working things out, I'm calmer and less upset. Of course Christmas isn't cancelled, it's just that plans have to change.
I suppose one should have seen it coming what with the new variant spreading rapidly and too many people being stupid and not following the existing rules. let alone the Christmas rules.
Most of yesterday was really pleasant. I had a couple of parcel deliveries and I think, now, that's all my pre-Christmas orders done and dusted.
In the morning, I set to and got the Christmas cake marzipanned and iced so it's ready for decorating now. It does look nice, I have to admit, and it smells gorgeous.
I just need to stop dithering and decide on the final design!
In the afternoon, I drove out to Writtle where Jen (Slimming World leader) was waiting by her car to hand out the new booklets, magazines and Hi Fi bars. I took the opportunity to give her a card and little thank you for her support this year. I'm glad we got that in because we couldn't do it now, nor can I now drive over to Jackie's on Tuesday afternoon to drop off her gift either. Ho hum!
(first world problems, I know)
I had marzipan left over so got stuck in to making stollen, using an adapted Delia recipe to match what I had in. I used Thermione on reverse spin so the blades wouldn't chop the fruit to bits and decided to leave the dough in the bowl to rise. And then I totally forgot about it until I woke with a jolt just before three this morning! Luckily, the long, slow, cool rise worked OK and it is now all made up, marzipan in the centre and sitting beside a radiator for its final proving. When it is baked and cooled, I intend slicing it and freezing it in single slices. Fingers crossed . . .
I was absolutely thrilled with the Strictly result! I won't post a spoiler but just to say any of them could have won, it was in no way cut and dried but I have supported the winning couple since week one so - happy!
Let's move on to today. Beth and Alex are coming round for lunch. They will stay for the afternoon and, hopefully, we will watch Miracle on 34th Street as well as icing that cake you must be fed up of hearing about by now! I'm doing us a good old roast dinner with slow roast beef, Yorkshires, roasties - the works.
I'll discuss The Turkey with Beth and Alex. I can't cancel the order at such a late stage, nor would I want to but I ordered one big enough for six plus lots of leftovers (we love leftovers), assuming, when I ordered, that John would be down after Christmas and would bring Dad over for a second Christmas dinner, plus Dave and Anna, of course. And Kelly's almost invariably give you more for your money than you ordered in terms of size.
Again, first world problem! Too much rather than too little! I should be ashamed of myself calling it a problem but I don't want any waste.
I do seem to have gone on rather, sorry.