Monday, 21 December 2015

Happy Solstice!!!

I don't like Christmas and I don't apologise for that.

So this is as Christmassy as it gets.

Arthur is clearly coveting a leading role in panto

Wheareas Boris patently feels the same way as I do about Christmas.

I do, however, very much like sausage rolls and mince pies. And I have made a Christmas cake which I've been feeding alcohol for the last couple of months. I've actually been feeding it Cointreau, for in a deliberate departure from tradition I've made a spicy orange rich fruit cake.
Last night it came to decorating it. When I was little, Christmas cake came with peaks and troughs of royal icing with various traditional figurines poked into the top - Santa Claus, a reindeer, some fir trees.
I felt this would not be appropriate for my cake, so opted to go with the orange theme. This is what I came up with. I'm rather proud of it.

The flowers are about looking forward to Spring. I've decided that a Solstice celebration would be more appropriate for us in future - it's probably where Christmas started anyway. But don't worry. I don't intend to get dressed up in a long cloak with a pointy hat and start prancing around a fire in some woodland clearing. I will celebrate quietly with Sue and the animals.
The Winter Solstice is a turning point in the year, especially for those of us who have chosen to live off the land. The coldest months are ahead of us, but the days get longer. Winter Solstice this year occurs at 04:49 on 22nd December. Hopefully the dank and damp dullness of November and early December will give way to crisp and clear winter days. A bit of frost wouldn't go amiss either and a good cold snap would make a refreshing change.
I'm already thinking about sowing seeds and I've just put in my big seed order for next year. I've started edging the veg beds ready to cultivate them and I've started a big tidy up.
In the next couple of days the shallots and garlic will be planted as they need a cold snap to encourage the cloves to divide.
So I guess that's it. The 2016 season is upon us. Let's hope it's a good one.

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