Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Knowing my limits

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.


SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Millie's remarkably agile !
How good that you've shown her an alternative path . As she was , a career as jewel thief surely beckoned . "The Gray Seal" comes to mind .

valct4joy said...

Your mantel looks absolutely beautiful but I can totally identify with the cat pranks problems. My daughter's varsity cat once sent the entire painstakingly arranged mantel decoration crashing to the floor on Christmas eve. Fortunately the candles weren't lit. I hope that you and all the kitties have a very happy Christmas and that 2010 will bring you only the best of everything.

Susan said...

LOVE her !!!! ... xoxo, Oliver

Fran Hill said...

Wow. What damage she could have done with all those candles .. that would have livened your Christmas up no end.

Jessamy said...

Smitonius (other half of sands)

Lovely display! But hope this year's survives the cat's flying leaps and investigations...

have a lovely time.

BumbleVee said...

your fireplace is absolutely beautiful !! the mirror makes it so rich and doubles the entire space of course..... your home looks lovely... in spite of wild cats.... you would have to be there all the time and definitely need a few Commandant traits to deal with the inmates...as well as eyes in the back of your head!!

rachel said...

You need to go back to posts early last year to see just what a naughty, inquisitive, agile little devil she was! James and Scooter are stuffed toys in comparison. I've never had so much trouble - and so much fun and amusement - from any kitten as I had with Millie.

But the real danger from candles comes from me. I've cracked two overmantels (mirrors to you non-Victorians) through leaving long slim tapers unattended and having them slip sideways onto the frames. I shouldn't be left alone with matches either....

Friko said...

the mantelpiece is far too elegant to have everything smashed. On the other hand, cats are far too elegant to have them confined.
What to do?

Have a lovely, festive season, Rachel.

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

Love the pictures of Millie! Maggie May's first year with us, we only had the tree up one day since she insisted on taking flying leaps into the middle of it.

Your mantal is gorgeous!

Have a Merry Christmas!

Lesley said...

Yes - I decorated the stairs with holly, ivy and spruce (looks fab) and then I find my husband playing with the dog between the bannisters in such a way that there are holly berries all over the hallway!

It's not only feline or even animal attack you have to watch out for!!

Lesley x

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