Happy Twixtmas! Hope your festivities were exactly as you like them.
We set each other a challenge this year to make one another a Christmas card. I'm no artist, so wrote Gareth a poem instead. In return, after successfully wallpapering the bathroom wall just in time for Christmas, a day later, I ventured into the bathroom and noticed something was just off. See for yourselves.
We had a quiet one. Just the three of us and remaining parents. Mentioning no names, certain members of our family have a very healthy appetite! Oh and spot the escaping teen.
Gareth excelled himself this year. Everything was made from scratch and cooked to perfection...and everything, from gravy to stuffing, seemed to contain port (we lost the best part of a bottle in the process). Mr Klaus was not impressed. I had planned to make a fancy vegan trifle with spun sugar, but not wishing to waste anything, decided to put that plan on hold until the New Year celebrations.
With Gareth feeling under the weather soon after Boxing Day and the weather once again switching things up - this time with high winds and rainstorms, we have hibernated. I actually quite enjoy Twixmas. I love not knowing or caring about the date or time and feel no guilt whatsoever about self indulgence. For me, that doesn't mean over eating, but rather, enjoying my Christmas gifts, reading, watching films and setting myself photography challenges.
I'm loving my Christmas reads. I've dipped in and out of Orlam and the Treasury of Folklore, Woodlands and Forests as they are books to savour and am looking forward to my first ever Philippa Gregory book! The item I coveted at the Much Wenlock Christmas Fayre (a pashmina) provides the backdrop.
TV viewing has included Gone Fishing (Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse). Christmas for us also has to include a ghost story or two. The festive episode of Inside Number 9 (written by Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, the natural successor to Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected) was excellent and has rekindled my obsession with champing.
"Champing" if you've not heard the term, refers to the exclusive hire of a church overnight. Beds are made up, you can take your own wine and refreshments and in return, are left alone inside a church with only the dead and each other for company. It's on my list for 2023.
A TV adaptation of a story by M.R. James, Count Magnus, starring Jason Watkins also featured in the mix, between sips of Advocaat.
Detectorists (possibly my favourite show ever) was a delight and left me wishing for more.
Films we've watched include Castaway (I waited 22 years to watch it, love Tom Hanks, but, as it turns out, not so in love with this film) and Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid - a cinematic gem of a film, based on a true story, beautifully shot and perfectly cast.
It's more of a friendship film and contains one of my all time favourite scenes (see below). It's a western for people who don't like westerns and a film I have watched a number of times.
As for photography, I've been enjoying my new to me 35 mm lens, which has a wider angle than the nifty fifty, is good in low light and perfect for portraits. Here are a few from the Christmas period.
My Father-in-law opening a present at his home on Christmas morning....
....and my Mom, reading and processing the cheesiest of cracker jokes.
I am respecting the wishes of the teen in not sharing the photos I took of him.
Instead, I have played around with in-camera double exposure photography (Blitzen at the top being one of my first attempts).
Catching the wind. Howling not included, but perhaps you can see why I had little interest in venturing out.
Not to leave out the diva, Lotte became my next subject of choice. I snapped a couple of straight shots of her to warm her up.
She's been a little grumpy because she didn't like the treats in her Christmas cracker. I have finally got the message that she is simply not like other cats and doesn't "go mad for Dreamies." She was quite fond of her toy mouse, but still prefers Gareth to drag around a piece of ribbon for her to chase and pounce on and has been pretty vocal about that!
I got the shot I wanted here. You might just be able to see a piece of string dangling over the sofa. This photo captured her movement and spirit - eyes everywhere, senses on alert.
Wishing for peace in 2023!