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Christmas is now officially coming…

Thanks to everyone who sent lovely messages after I wrote about my husband’s cancer check. I’m thrilled to be able to tell you that the scans show that he’s still stable, which means that the immunotherapy is still working and we can look forward to the ninth Christmas after the one he wasn’t supposed to see. And yes, I am grateful every day for our very own miracle, and he enjoys seeing the staff who often need the reminder that sometimes, just sometimes, people can beat the odds.

So now Christmas will gradually start to sneak in. I’ve changed the silk flowers for something more Christmassy, my Christmas sweetie order has arrived, thanks to the amazing Jeanette at the Sugar Mouse who delivered it for me free of charge because that’s what Poole Old Town is like.

Some people think that places like Windy Bay and Oldcastle and Westerham can’t exist. I know they’re wrong because I’m lucky enough to live somewhere like them. Somewhere people stop to talk and we share a fierce pride in the place where we live and keep an eye out for each other., obviously without ever being nosy. Somewhere I’m a twenty minute walk away from the beautiful, beautiful Harbourside whose pictures I regularly share with you. Somewhere I can go and chat to the brilliant Nigel from New Forest Meats or the lovely Sam at Marsden’s bakery at the Thursday market and get the very best local food at supermarket prices along with recipe ideas. Somewhere with a specialist tea and coffee shop just up the road who know what I like well enough to be confidently able to substitute items in my order if they’re out of stock. And no, the Carol Singers Blend of Christmas tea that I love does not have real Carol Singers in it. This is NOT Christians Cross…

As I expect you’ve guessed by now, I’m on a high because I’ve been reminded exactly how precious life is and how easy it is to forget that I am incredibly lucky. No one is bombing me. My family are well and happy. I have good food, good friends, a roof over my head and wonderful friends I’ve never met but who feel they know me through my books.

Being immunocompromised means I won’t be doing any of the busy crowded Christmas things that I once loved, but I will be cooking up a feast and snuggling in and watching old films and Andre Rieu concerts and going for walks to see the Maritime Christmas lights down in Poole or the Santa Train making its annual round of the streets. (Which I’ll write more about later.) I’ll Skype my relatives and we’ll have virtual tea parties where we both bake the same things and eat ‘together.’ And you know what? I love these slower quieter Christmases where I recharge and have time to do the little things that matter to me. It’s great facing the New Year without wanting to just sleeeep.

I expect you’ve guessed that one of my favourite things is planning and that long ago became,one of my favourite parts of Christmas. We’re currently in the product testing stage where we find the very best of our favourite foods. Tonight my supportive family are testing hot sausage rolls to eat with crusty bread. It’s tough, I know, but they’re brave about it.

So have a brilliant week, hopefully without too much more rain and wind because I don’t know about you but I’m getting bored with being stuck indoors. And remember, you can’t control what people do, but you can control how you react to and deal with them. So why not do something you want to every single day? It doesn’t have to be big or expensive but it’s a reminder that not everything is doom and gloom. The leaves are beautiful colours. The cloud patterns in the sky are pretty and Christmas is coming!

To prove that, today’s picture is of me happily working on this year’s Christmas quilt, ‘helped’ by my faithful cat.


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