The omens for Christmas did not look too good first thing this morning, as the Systems Administrator's lingering, will-it won't-it cold had got worse in the night. He rallied a bit by mid morning, and managed to take a shower, eat some lunch, and collect the holly and ivy for the mantelpiece, but I remain agnostic about whether we will be sitting down to roast chicken and all the trimmings at lunchtime tomorrow, or if I will be going through the contents of the fridge to see what needs to go in the freezer. My own cold feels as though it had not gone but merely stepped into the next room.
Meanwhile the mantelpiece looks suitably wild and pagan for the spirits to live in, and very pretty, though the birds had eaten almost all the berries off the holly. They always do, but I think that after the cold spell at the start of the month there are even fewer left than usual. We use rose hips instead, though they had eaten quite a lot of those as well.
The cats have been very good about the Christmas tree. In fact, they have mostly ignored it, apart from Mr Fluffy who has been sitting under it. We only used plastic baubles, so that they would bounce instead of breaking if dragged off the tree, and if they did break they would not be expensive or impossible to replace, and the bits would not be as dangerous as glass, and there are no lights because we were afraid the cats would chew them, but they have behaved in an exemplary fashion with only the briefest and most desultory batting at the baubles. You can never tell with animals.
I spend a useful day weeding and mulching in the back garden. Things are indeed gently moving on: the first hyacinth snouts are already poking through. I was more than usually aware that I really must not poke myself in the eye, since having to seek treatment at the walk in centre on Christmas Eve seemed like a very bad idea. Cornus is the worst with its fine, pointed side stems coming off the main branch almost at right angles, and I did catch one piece of dogwood tapping on the side piece of my safety glasses.
By half past three it was too dark to see properly to weed, or to avoid sneaky sideways twigs, and I finished listening to the nine lessons and carols in the kitchen with Mr Fidget. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.