I was out gardening on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, which is pretty good going, but today as the rain gave way to horizontal sleet it was clear that I would not be spending the day out of doors. I considered whether to start getting to grips with the new woodland charity presentation and the garden club accounts, but decided that the gap between Christmas and the New Year was still officially holiday.
One of the pleasures of the post Christmas period is having left over Christmas pudding for breakfast, fried gently in butter and served with left over cream. I was able to indulge yesterday and this morning, and then the Systems Administrator asked whether there was any left, and I was obliged to yield up the last slice. I couldn't really complain since I'd had more than half of it. Instead I made some mince pies, smarting slightly that the BBC's Victorian Bakers at Christmas had dismissed shortcrust pastry as the poor people's inferior version. I am rather proud of my shortcrust. Given I had all day ahead of me I could have chosen to embark on making rough puff, or flaky, but I wasn't feeling that energetic.
The Systems Administrator's cold was better than it was yesterday. Anybody who want to eat Christmas pudding for breakfast can't be at death's door. Nonetheless it was very bubbly and unpleasant.
The cats were bored. They would have liked to go out. Sometimes, between showers, they did go out, before coming in again as the next wave of sleet arrived. Then they prowled about restlessly before grudgingly settling down in their baskets. Last night, after the Systems Administrator had gone to bed early with the cold, Our Ginger sat for a long time in front of the cupboard containing the overflow fridge in which there was the remains of the roast chicken, and next to him sat his apprentice in crime, Mr Fluffy. This afternoon I picked over the chicken carcass for them. Somehow we didn't fancy it, knowing the cats had been at it. There was still quite a lot of meat on it and I felt rather cross, even though we have lots of gammon left to eat up and are behindhand with eating the leftovers anyway, what with the SA being ill. I'll have to look on it as the cats' revenge for not getting £22 each of Christmas presents like the average pet.
A ritual of Christmas is escaping from the confines of the study for a few days. It is nice to sit by the open fire in the sitting room, with the Christmas tree and the cards and the greenery decorating the mantelpiece. After two months of spending evenings hunkered down in the study and the prospect of another three months of winter to go, we appreciate the brief change of scenery. This afternoon, as the thermometer outside plummeted, so did the the temperature inside as the sitting room's barn-like void swallowed all the heat that both radiators and the log fire could throw at it. We gave up and retreated back to the study.