I had to promise not to publish photos of any of my family before they’d let me take any this Christmas but I made no such agreement with the dog or the seagulls, so they get top billing.
Christmas Day was fab. It began with a beautiful sunrise, clear and crisp (and even, even) and by 9ish everyone was up and the kids (I use the term loosely as they are now 16, 19 and 21) had assembled in the gift and Christmas tree-filled lounge. I use the word ‘filled’ accurately here though as we have a much smaller lounge but the tree seems to have got larger. And there were an incredible number of presents because muggins here decided to buy a lot of them from charity shops. It meant there were more to go round and the cost was considerably less. Scoff not. This is recycling at its best here folks.
So we opened them and everyone was extremely happy as far as I could make out. It was ‘jacket and shirt’ Christmas for the kids, along with computer games, cds, books, scarves, sweeties and socks. I got two pairs of gloves – one vintage from Tracy at Suze’s Room, one handknitted by my mate Jill (amazing), silk paints, Fenjal bath oil, books, socks and the pair of boots I bought a month ago in a sale that I hadn’t worn (that’s a bit of a family tradition too). Jamie had a shirt (new), Cluedo (vintage), Brian Cox’s book (I’ll be reading that too), a journal full of great poems, ‘How to Play the Ukelele’, a scarf (vintage) and a nutcracker in the form of a ship’s wheel (vintage, hilarious and it works).
Tallulah the Wonder Dog got her own dog bed for Christmas. Willow, the top cat, has already taken it by stealth and the dog was again lying next to me when I woke up this morning. This is not because I sleep in the dog’s bed, but because our darling mutt will not, I repeat WILL NOT sleep in her bed. We don’t want to banish her from the bedroom, and don’t like to shut the doors in any case, so this is a continual struggle that I fear we will continually lose.
The turkey went in at about eleven, which was round about the time when most people got dressed, we watched Christmas TV and talked to each other. Mhairi and I made the nut roast and cranberry pie (as you can see it still has a fair bit of eating in it) and then at last we went for a walk at about 2.30pm when the turkey came out and the potatoes and nut roast went in (much smaller oven now too, so the turkey filled the whole thing!).
The seagulls were given the offcuts from all those breadcrumbs one seems to have to make at Christmas time. Bread sauce, nut roast pie, home-made stuffing for the turkey (boast, boast) and the smoked salmon sandwiches that are a family tradition for breakfast in these parts, all require the removal of crusts. I packed them all up and took them down to the beach and threw them in my wake as we walked along the sand. Seagulls from all around descended on them and these photos are just some of the ones I took.
We’d missed the sing song around the piano at the Spyglass but we didn’t really mind. There’s always next year. The sun was setting and those seagulls were still getting in on the act – along with Talullah the Wonder Dog who was dancing away. It was just a perfect day.