Tuesday, 22 December 2009
My Christmas mantels are the favourite part of getting the house ready for the festive season, and there is always fresh holly and ivy intermingled with the candles and bits of gleaming glass and gold. No one ever notices the glasses of water that hold the stems; they aren't hidden, but somehow the eye fails to register them.
Over the years, the sitting room mantel has grown or shrunk in its load, according to whim or unconsciously-absorbed fashion; during the overblown '80s, there were large swags of greenery hanging below the mantel, more on top, and enough candles to light a cathedral.
This year, I've been much more restrained. A few strands of ivy, a few candles, a few bits of gold; the ancient dull gold wired ribbon that has appeared every year since the '70s - well, everyone needs something old and nostalgia-inducing to decorate with - and not much else.
And why? Remember this?
Ye-e-e-e-e-ssss...... you've got it now. She wasn't here last Christmas.
She's had a speculative look now and again, but she knows me well enough now to avoid too brazen an attempt on the summit while I'm watching.