Thursday, 28 December 2017

Just the three of us

I'm breathing a sigh of relief now that Christmas has been done and dusted for another year, and we're back to some kind of normality.

Not that it wasn't enjoyable, mind you: it was spent just the way we wanted, relaxing and semi-hibernating inside Dove Cottage.



With the interminable grey weather persisting, we didn't even contemplate going outside for longer than strictly necessary. Nor did we need to, as we'd got in all our provisions on the Friday, in order to avoid the mad last minute rush.



On the day of Christmas Eve, I briefly walked into town to get a loaf of bread.

In honour of the Season, I dressed in red and green. I topped my red vintage dress, bought at a flea market a couple of Summers ago, with the green fur-collared jacket I recently found at Think Twice.

You already know the red beret, which is fastly becoming a favourite, but the purple boots were charity shopped last Saturday. I added oat coloured tights sprinkled with rosebuds.


For some reason, people looked at me as if I was the ghost of Christmas past. Oh, I get it. I wasn't wearing a Christmas jumper or a Santa hat!

Oh, why does nobody bother to dress up anymore?

The dress, which is a tiny bit wide on top, was cinched in with a purple elastic belt, and I chose a purple necklace too. The charity shopped King Louie cardigan was thrown on at the last minute.

Soaking up some pale rays of sunshine

The final touches were my two Christmas brooches, as seen in this post's opening photo: a sparkly reindeer bought in a high street shop last year, and a reindeer pin designed by one of my old punk buddies now living in Berlin and trading under the name Henri Banks!




That night, we set the table with my parents' dinner service, and celebrated with just the two of us, starting off festivities as usual with non-alcoholic bubbly drank from Babycham glasses.


Scrap that, obviously I meant the three of us. Here's Phoebe showing who's boss!


Although Christmas day itself wore a cloak of sombre grey, in our cosy little home everything was merry and bright.



Once or twice, a pale ray of sunshine managed to pierce through the layer of clouds, so briefly, in fact, that you could easily have missed it if you didn't happen to be looking outside at that very moment.



Perfect for lounging in our pyamas, curling up on the sofa with a good book.

This is a tradition of our own, started when we celebrated our first Christmas together, all of twenty three Christmases ago!

Soppy Christmas records are playing in the background, accompanied by much eye rolling and singing along out of tune with alternative, made-up, lyrics!


I'm not sure Dove Cottage's assortment of Marys approve!

Now if the weather had been a bit more accomodating, we would have dressed at some point and gone for a bracing walk. We would even have welcomed some snow, to be crunched through with snow booted feet and warm mittened hands.

But alas! When has Christmas ever been that Christmas card perfect in these parts, complete with robins on snow covered fences? Do they only exist in people's imagination or some half forgotten childhood memories? Are they ever fact rather than fiction?


One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.
-Dylan Thomas, A Child's Christmas in Wales-

Looking through old photographs, as one is bound to do on such occasions, I came across these ones, taken in December 1969.


Fashionable in mini skirt and white wellies!

Quite a bit of snow to have produced such a large snowman, but a bit of googling revealed that there was no snow on Christmas day.

With that, I've counted and found that I mentioned the C word fourteen times in this post, so that'll definitely be it for another year!

33 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed just the day you wanted.

    What did you think of The Thirteenth Tale?? I loved it.

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    1. Oh, I loved it too, Gisela! I wanted to finish it and pace myself at the same time. xxx

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  2. I'm afraid we got your snow for Christmas but it was followed by record-breaking cold so you wouldn't have liked it ;)

    I don't know why people don't dress but I'm glad you do! Look at you all beautiful in your red dress and green coat.

    I'll drink a toast to you and Jos for a wonderful New Year. And Phoebe too.

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    1. Thank you Goody! Our weather's the complete opposite, but with lots and lots of rain! xxx

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  3. I'm happy to hear you had a nice and relaxing Christmas, Ann! That's so funny that Phoebe was up on the table asserting her importance! Haha! Like we could ever forget our furry friends! I love the outfit you wore on Christmas Eve. The dress is so pretty and I love your purple necklace and belt. I love the tights and boots too! I know what you mean about people not dressing up anymore! Where I live, people stare if you're not in shorts and a t-shirt or gym gear on non-work days! Blah! Luckily I can look at your fab outfits to brighten my days. :) XXX

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    1. Phoebe always asserts herself, in case we forget who's boss ;-) It's a shame, really, that gym wear is considered appropriate wear outside the gym ... One of my gripes, I'm afraid ... xxx

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  4. Glad that you had a cozy Xmas your way! It's so incredibly charming in your cottage, you have a wonderful eye (and soul) for creating a cozy atmosphere! I love your festive outfit, and the new-to-you purple boots make such a great addition to your wardrobe!!

    I think the same about dressing up... why etc. Makes me sad to look at a crowd. So much sameness, it's depressing. We were talking about it with Justin (again), and came to the conclusion that most people pay their attention (and funds) to gadgets rather than wardrobe. We're just old-fashioned that way. But the good part is that we can wear all we like! There is no style dictatorship as it used to be in earlier decades.

    Justin also makes up new lyrics and makes himself (and us) giggle. :)

    Lovely picture of you with the snowman! I love that he has legs. Russian snowmen are just 3 snowballs placed one on another. :)

    Much love and Happy New Year to you and Jos! <3

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    1. Thank you, Natalia! If that is considered old-fashioned, then so be it. I love wearing what I like. No (more) fashion dictatorship for us! xxx

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  5. Purple and red are such a great colour combo. And what a score on the boots!

    Sounds like a wonderful relaxing day.

    We got well over a foot of snow on Christmas Eve and probably another foot on Christmas Day. Good riddance to winter is all I can say. It would be fine if the temperatures were just below or ideally just above zero but with the windchill it is currently hovering around a brisk -20 C. I'm well over the whole season. It can just move along now.

    My entire outfit today was based on the two pairs of winter boots that I can wear through salt and -20 C. Trying to stay remotely fashionable is a real feat. I went out today wearing my almost floor length vintage coat that weighs about 10 lbs. It did keep me pretty warm layered with another leather jacket underneath for good measure. I can't make any fast movements at all though and I have limited use of my arms. How do Eskimos do it?

    Look at you with the massive snowman! I can't believe you are wearing a skirt! There is no way it was -20 C.

    Suzanne

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    1. I actually found two pair of boots and one pair of booties on the same day! -20°C sounds just horrible to me, and I'm hearing you on it being a feat trying to stay fashionable in such temperatures. I'm sure it wasn't -20°C back in 1969, but I'm still thinking I was wearing knitted tights with my mini skirt ... xxx

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  6. I am in love with your festive dress. I know the people looking for somebody dressed up. I cant't understand it. If I wear my plaid dress on christmas, paired with christmastreebrooch and earrings the people looks at me.... yes like the ghost of the past christmas :))
    Your christmas looks cozy and bright. Silent night.... it's a little bit magic Ann. So different to our christmas eve ;)
    Happy new year Ann , huge hug Tina

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    1. I loved your Christmas outfit, the plaid dress is fabulous, and it wouldn't be right if you didn't wear Christmas related accessories! xxx

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  7. fabulous gemütlich holidays at dove cottage!!
    we planned it like that too - but my health played up with a bad flu - so we had quiet, lying around days but not that cozy.....
    the red dress is very chic - and your jacket looks almost like mine! and again you found the finest boots! have to come to belgium for boots shopping i guess ;-)
    lovely pics of phoebe!!
    wish the 3 of you a *guten rutsch* <3 <3 <3
    hugest hugs! xxxxxx

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    1. Sorry to hear you had flu :-( I was very lucky that day, as I found more than one pair of boots! You're always welcome to join me! xxx

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  8. Your Christmas sounds like a splendid way to spend the holiday. (We had cats on the table too! I see Phoebe sung a few carols of her own...)

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    1. Phoebe is famous for her carol singing ;-) xxx

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  9. Look at naughty Phoebe!
    Dove Cottage looks wonderfully cosy and inviting and it sounds like the three of you sent a lovely day together.
    Your festive outfit beats a novelty jumper and a Santa hat hands down. Red really looks good on you (like every other colour).
    I despair at how casual people are these days. I actually saw three people out in dressing gowns and slippers the week before Christmas - the mind boggles! xxx

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    1. That's just Phoebe's regular behaviour, I'm afraid, always asserting who's boss! I do not wear red often enough, I'm not sure why ... Apart from the occasional batty old lady, I have yet to see people out in dressing gowns and slippers ... The mind boggles indeed! xxx

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  10. Pretty colors perfect for the season. I agree that most people don't put the energy into dressing up any more but I don't let that stop me: it's fun to look good!

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    1. You're so right, Ally! It's fun to dress up and look good! xxx

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  11. You look the embodiment of Christmas in green and red. I'm glad the three you had a nice, relaxing time.
    I rather like that table cloth, together with the babycham glasses, it all looks like festive fun! xxx

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    1. Thank you Sally! I wasn't sure which table cloth to use, but this one just looked right. I'm glad you approve. xxx

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  12. The Thirteenth Tale is brilliant!

    It sounds like you had a lovely, laid back Christmas and Dove Cottage looks so cosy and welcoming. It's a shame you haven't had more sunshine; we've had some very cold but lovely sunshiny days since Christmas.

    I think I might have the same tights as you but black with red rosebuds.

    Hope you have a wonderful New Year, too!
    xxx

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    1. I've just finished The Thirteenth Tale, and it's indeed utterly brilliant. It's actually hard to start a new book after this. I have a pair of charcoal tights with rosebuds too ... xxx

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  13. That sounds like a lovely Christmas, well done, all three of you! I love sitting around and reading and listening to music - I've had some of that myself, and it's really one of the best gifts we can give ourselves. A very Happy New Year to you and your family (including lovely Phoebe!).

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    1. Thank you Sheila! I haven't got nearly enough time to sit around reading Etc., so it's a great gift indeed! xxx

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  14. I adore your Christmas attire! It looks beautiful and would make me very glad to see you out in town! For me, going out means a pretty dress or skirt but quite often, where I live, it means tight trousers and a drapy top! I don't think I could ever follow that fashion!
    Your Christmas sounds a delight. I've been part of a big family Christmas and to be honest, the busyness of it makes me feel grouchy esp as some individuals don't do a thing to help and I feel grouchy because I feel grouchy about that, if you know what I mean!
    Love to you and Jos!x

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    1. I do think I know what you mean, Kezzie. From what I'm hearing it's something that happens at all big family Christmases. I do prefer a quiet Christmas, which is all our own ... xxx

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  15. Whilst I don't dress up in the way you do, I remember nearly falling over when I saw a young girl in a onesie and slippers in a local supermarket! I don't believe anything that casual should be seen outside of the house. So pleased you had the Christmas you wanted, complete with cosy looking dining room and authoritative cat! Happy New Year to you both (and Phoebe!) xxx

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    1. I'd get a fright seeing someone out and about in a onesie and slippers. My first thought would be it was an escapee from the local asylum! xxx

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  16. This sounds like a perfect way to spend the Christmas. We spent time with family but it was a quiet one compared to most years, which was exactly how we planned it
    xx

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    1. It's good to hear you had the Christmas you wanted, Hazel! xxx

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  17. lovely that you could enjoy your holidays the way you like!, and wearing pijamas (that's my kind of thing! indeed!)
    I always love a red dress and your red beret looks awesome!, lovely outfit and lovely deers!. And I agree: don't understand why people don't dress up anymore!
    besos

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