Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Eve of Spring

How are you now that everything has settled down after the Christmas holiday? Doesn’t everywhere seem drab and dark now all the Christmas lights have gone? I left mine going till the very last minute and considered leaving some of the indoor lights up until spring, but then I thought they’d only gather dust so away they went.

I remember one year when my kids were small I refused to put the decorations up until they broke up from school. It was terrible. I never left it that late again. I had some romantic rosy vision of all the family getting together to put the decs up once we were “in” for Christmas. The reality was three unhappy children gazing miserably at the lights and trees in other windows as we walked to and from school.

This week I finally got my Christmas sewing machine out of its box. Ooh it’s pretty and quiet and so light. Until I actually had it on the table in front of me, I hadn’t realised how much I’d missed using a machine. It was all going very well until Indy stood on the foot pedal and I sewed myself to the tablecloth…

No I didn’t really. The machine wasn’t even turned on at the time and there wasn’t a tablecloth on the table anyway, nor did I have long sleeves. You can’t help it when you’re a writer, going off into the realms of what ifs can you?

Indy had a good Christmas. He had quite a pile of presents including a box of Dogteasers which look like Maltesers and it says on the box that they’re not harmful to children. He really likes them and doesn’t swallow them in one gulp like most things, but munches and crunches and rolls them round his mouth savouring every last crumb.

I did tell you about the time I was smacked for eating all the chocolates off the Christmas tree when I was a child didn’t I? Not smacked for doing it, but for lying about it and for being stupid enough to leave the empty wrappers behind. Then my mum saw our Boxer Zulu gently removing chocolates and unwrapping them. Now that one is true!

Anyway we’re well into January now and it seems old hat to still be talking about Christmas. We have spring to look forward to, light evenings, flowers and sunshine. The dawn chorus has already started tuning up – usually between 6 and 6.30am. No matter what winter throws at us now, the end is in sight!

Happy Eve of Spring!


  1. I love Christmas, but by January 6th I'm usually ready to move on. I must lookout for the Dogteasers, sounds like my retriever's idea of heaven.

  2. I'm afraid I'm ready to move on by Boxing Day! I think the build-up is so long that by then I'm ready to buy myself a bunch of daffodils and put it all behind me.

    Glad you (and Indy) are cheery and postive, Teresa. Have a successful and happy 2012!

  3. This reminds me of my middle daughter when she was three. She was left alone with the Christmas tree long enough to eat every chocolate, leaving the empty wrappers hanging so dejectedly while looking so innocent that all we could do was laugh.
    The same daughter once got away with scribbling on a wall by telling us a boy with blue hair and a skull-and-crossbones on his tee-shirt had climbed through the window and done it.
    I like the winter and don't look forward to Spring the way everyone else does. I actually love the short days, dark evenings and grey skies of autumn and winter. It must be some buried childhood memory that stops me looking forward to the brighter months. Maybe it's because I rarely go outside, love getting cosy indoors and feel guilty about doing that in the summer.
    Wishing you a wonderful 2012 and glad you're doing so well after the painful end to last year.

  4. How lovely to think about birdsong, flowers and light nights! Thanks Teresa for reminding us all - and I like the sound of Dogteasers - perhaps I should get some for Dylan! x

  5. Spring was here at the weekend when I walked through the park. Some blossom out, shoots shooting through everywhere, birds singing, ducks quacking and squirrels running around confused.
    Give me 12 month summers every year. Bliss!

  6. I don't know where my daughter got the Dogteasers from, Christine, but I'll be looking out for more too. The box is almost empty x

    Thank you, Frances. I'm afraid I'm a bit of a limpet when it comes to letting go. I get fed up in the run up to Christmas, but I hate putting it all away after x

    Your daughter clearly takes after you for her imagination, Joanna - lovely! You sound like my children - they ALL prefer winter and love closing the curtains in winter and shutting the world out. I don't know where they get it from x

    I think Dylan would thank you, Lydia - I have been tempted to try them myself, but I don't think Indy would forgive me x

    Sounds gorgeous, Lynne. I'm with you - I'd be quite happy with a 12 month summer x

  7. What a lovely thought, Teresa - spring being on the way. I'm one of the winter-haters. I can't wait for those warm days and light evenings. Bring it on!

  8. What a lovely uplifting post Teresa. I love the change of seasons and am always ready to take down the trimmings and start afresh. But by the autumn I'm ready again to close the curtains and retreat to the sofa.

    Did you receive your Woman's Weekly girl's dress pattern? I did, but haven't bought the material yet. I'm hoping to hand sew mine - I never did see eye to eye with a sewing machine.

  9. There's a definite whiff of spring in the air, Olivia - well the two robins down the lane just now seemed to think so - ooh! x

    Yes I got it, Maggie. I fancied doing the dress in two different fabrics, but Imogen had other ideas and she chose pale pink gingham with little daisies embroidered on (bought via the internet). It's lovely. I just hope I can do it!
    I don't think I'd have the patience to hand sew a whole garment. But I love sewing machines almost as much as I love typewriters x

  10. My uncle's old labrador once brought down their six foot Christmas tree while the family were out, and ate all the chocolate! I've never risked putting chocolate on my tree since then. Yet still my various retrievers have managed to sniff out odd fingers of Kitkat left in coat pockets or bags.

    Oh yes, welcome to more springy weather! Although I have missed not getting any snow this winter. But there's still time.

  11. I like to get the decorations down well before 12th Night but it is always with a degree of sadness. Your story of being wrongly blamed for eating the chocolates rang a bell. Our lurcher, Jess, when a pup, sucked every chocolate from its wrapper, leaving sorry looking silver foil hanging from the branches of the tree at just the level our four year old could then reach - we didn't actually blame him but it took us a while to work out what had actually happened! happy New year! :-)

  12. I long for the day when I can drive to and from work and it's not dark. *Then* I know spring/summer is coming. Caroline x

  13. We didn't put up our decorations until Christmas eve - if they go up too far beforehand I'm fed up with them by Boxing Day.

    I know what you mean with the sewing yourself to the tablecloth thing - I often have to stop myself from saying things like that (when that happens I try to remember them for a story)

  14. Hey Teresa,
    I've got all the decorations packed away after another 'fun-filled' Boxing Day Eve aka Christmas season.
    And it being a 'leap' year, the word 'Spring' makes even more sense:)
    'Hoppy' Eve of Spring to you and your loved ones :)

  15. My daughter's birthday in the new year so always took the decs down for that so she'd have her own 'show!'Usually ready to 'move on' anyway by then these days.
    Fabulous uplifting post Teresa. Howled at you sewing yourself to the tablecloth even if not true. :o) You must use that!!
    Loved the 'looking forward to more "springy weather" Joanne! Sums it up doesn't it. Don't you think that every season is wonderful in its own way? I love cosy dark nights snuggled at home, just don't like driving in them or in the bad weather. Can't say I've missed the snow!! Again for the above reasons. Spring is so renewing, summer's long days fabulous, autumn colours, cosy winter nights - yeah all have their plusses!
    Happy sewing Teresa, I'm full of admiration! xx

  16. Great post, Teresa, and may you have many sunshine days ahead this year. Like Joanna, I also like the dark, cosy evenings, although I'm always ready for spring when it arrives. I just don't like summer.

    Your mention of a sewing machine reminded me how much I used to enjoy making things when we were first married. Happy days.

  17. Chocs hanging from a tree are a great temptation aren't they, Joanne. I can just picture the labrador with the fallen tree, happily munching on all the chocolate x

    Happy New Year, Deborah - glad your four year old didn't get the blame x

    I hate driving in the dark, Caroline. Roll on longer days x

    I wouldn't have bothered with the decs, Patsy, but my son did them and I'm glad he did and I was sad when they had to come down again x

    I'd forgotten about it being a leap year, Klahanie - an extra day for us - whoop :-) x

    Actually Sue, I really have sewed myself to things in the past, but don't tell anyone ;-) You're right, all the seasons have their nice bits, but I still love those long days more than anything x

    Thank you, Rosemary :-) I don't mind the occasional dark, cosy evening, but I'm not a winter person x

  18. Oh those 'what ifs', what would we do without them? - well, we wouldn't be doing much writing I guess. Enjoyed your post, thanks Teresa :-)

  19. Thanks, Diane - what if it snows now? What if it doesn't? ;-) x

  20. I miss the Christmas lights, too. One year, when I was young and foolish and had just moved into my own home, we left the tree up until April. It looked like the ghost of Christmas past by then - not least because all the needles had fallen off, so I've made sure we tidy everything up by the 6th of January these days.