Thursday, 10 November 2011

10.11. Almost Christmas??

The amazing autumn weather is continuing here in London; I was at my local hospital yesterday to take a blood test and some people were walking around in shorts and T-shirts! Now that would have been taking it a bit far as for myself concerned, but I am still wearing the same jacket I have been wearing all summer when going out and my winter coat hasn’t been out of my wardrobe since late February….and it’s only just over 6 weeks till Christmas!

Speaking of Christmas…I saw the first Christmas tree today! Not in a shop window; those have been around for a while, but in someone’s home. I passed a window on my way home from Royal London Hospital where I was today where someone already had set up their Christmas tree, with the lights on and all. It’s 10th November today…to me that’s almost taking the mickey out of the whole Christmas tree. Why not just have the decorations up all year then, like my mother did a few years in a row?! Yes, she did, in the kitchen window, because they looked so nice. It’s many years ago now, and I can’t remember if the decoration hung until next Christmas and then was taken down or if it was up for two consecutive years, but it was definitely a whole year, including a very hot summer when everyone commented on the Christmas decoration. My mother answered everyone that the decoration was left because it looked nice and fitted with the colour scheme in the kitchen :-)

Where I come from, we typically decorate the Christmas tree in the evening on the 23rd December, although we usually have a bit of decoration around the house from the first Sunday in December. But the tree doesn’t come up until the 23rd, and when moving over here to the UK and seeing people putting up their tree last week of November – and even earlier than that as I’ve seen today, I find that strange and that it kind of waters down what’s special with having a Christmas tree. It’s like if you had a birthday every week instead of once a year; wouldn’t be that special anymore, would it? Still, better than having Christmas trees up all year round I suppose :-) I always decorate my house for Christmas, nothing over the top though, I am not a fan of garish flashing coloured lights and plastic Santa or fake snow. But I have some garlands with lights and some decorations my son made when he was a kid which I treasure. I can’t fit a Christmas tree in my tiny living room though, there is absolutely nowhere to put it anywhere in my house except in my bedroom, and quite frankly, all I do in my bedroom is sleep so I can’t see any point in putting a tree there. So I don’t have a tree, just garlands with lights and decorations, which are OK enough.

One thing I always do at this time of year is to make my yearly Christmas card. I haven’t made the 2011 Christmas card yet, just haven’t been time, so that’s on my list for this week-end. Would you like to see the Christmas card everyone got last Christmas? Here it is, featuring my cat :-)  Quite a few people have asked me how I managed to get him to accept the Santa hat for the photos I took of him, and the simple answer to that is that he didn’t. He was furious at first when I put it on him. He looked so cute though, so I decided that somehow I was going to get him to accept that hat for the photos I had in mind (without the use of force, drugs, or dirty tricks!). I started with just laying the hat on top of his head while he was sleeping in my lap, so he was getting used to the smell. Every time he jumped into my lap I had the hat ready and placed in on top of his head without actually putting it on. In the beginning he just shook it off, but after a day or so I was allowed to place the hat for a few seconds on his head, whilst he was in my lap.

A few days like this went by and he also accepted the elastic band to go under his chin without any fuzz. He accepted the hat for longer and longer periods while lying in my lap, but I always took it off before letting him down. One day, after nearly a week he suddenly jumped off the sofa and went into the kitchen and started eating off his food with the Santa hat on, totally oblivious to the fact that he had the hat on! Then I knew he was ready for a photo session, and that the hat didn’t bother him at all :-) These two photos were the Christmas cards I sent out to family and friends last year, if you would like your own copy of these you can DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE COPIES FROM MY WEB-SITE.

I have no idea what this year’s Christmas card will be looking like; I haven’t even started thinking about it! And that’s often how I work….I just open Photoshop on my computer, and the ideas come floating….or not, sometimes nothing comes floating, sometimes I just have to close the computer and go and do something else because my virtual drawing board, my imagination and my creativity has taken a collective holiday! But that doesn’t happen very often fortunately, and working on one project often gives me ideas I can use in other projects so my brain is constantly spinning with things I would like to make. I have to seriously think about make an application to the correct authorities to extend the day with about 10 hours or so…anyone who knows where to send such an application, please contact me ASAP :-)

That’s it for tonight, just wanted to let you know that it’s almost Christmas, in case it somehow had managed to escape you :-) Tomorrow is yet another hospital day, going to see my physiotherapist at UCH in Central London; loooong day by hospital transport and late evening before I am home in Friday rush traffic. Take care for now, see you next time.

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