I attended Freya’s first secondary school Parents’ Evening after she gave me a stern warning not to stand out too much; she even tried to convince me to wear a smart cardigan. The temperature outside was plummeting again so she had to suffer me wearing the tweed jacket, woolly scarf, pink ostrich leather handbag and red Docs. I felt quite smart compared to everyone in their fleeces and hiking boots, actually. The art teacher even told me that I looked “Arty”, which I took as a compliment. I considered it polite to say “Bonjour” to the French teacher but had to admit that my French was pretty rudimentary – then I asked why the school did not offer Latin on its curriculum.
I placed orders for wadding and other essential supplies that I might need before the next lot of snow and was irritated when told that couriers in England were refusing to take any deliveries north of the border in case of a blizzard. This was during the thaw when all of the major roads were clear. Nationally there was great consternation that Christmas deliveries from Amazon might not arrive on time. I warned the children that Santa may have a few problems with his suppliers this year but Fenella was confident that he would manage perfectly well since he is Magic, after all.
By Thursday it started snowing again and I had to drive the children to school. I decided that I really ought to get into shape if I am going to have to make a habit of climbing into the Landy via the boot when all of the doors are frozen. It is not easy clambering over two rows of seats wearing wellies and several layers of winter clothing. I could not zip my jacket up because I was wearing a woolly vest, shirt, jumper, waistcoat and thick knitted cardigan underneath it. I decided to shop for a fur coat in the Red Cross shop but was disappointed to find that only mangy fake furs were on sale at £50. I daresay furs have become vintage and fashionable, although I don’t imagine Freya would agree. I asked my Mother if she might have an antique fur coat but she admitted that this may have been a victim of her latest clear-out. I may have to settle for a Paddington Bear duffle coat or simply continue with my long waxed coat over some hideously unfashionable layering. I defy any fashion gurus to come to Aberdeenshire in the middle of winter and get me to wear flimsy items in my workshop!
I did some quilting this week, working fast to keep warm. I finished a customer quilt to add to the other one that has been awaiting collection for since the weather turned wintry. I quilted and bound two Christmas table runners then worked on a crazy sketchbook cover for Mo’s sister. I love working on those as they are such fun. I am often asked why I don’t sell them but an A3 piece takes around 10 hours to complete so they would be too expensive to produce except as presents. I made it a bit bigger than I needed so that there would be enough left over for an A5 book and a camera case.
We went to the Banchory Farmers’ Markey on Saturday which was made festive by a stall selling mulled wine, snow falling and people wearing Santa hats. We bought local sausages, cheese, bread and cold pressed rapeseed oil. It was almost like being at a French market except that it was well below zero and we didn’t have a basket. We went to choose our Christmas tree but the forester had not been able to cut any local trees and had resorted to buying some in. The children were not all that impressed with the modest tree that we chose but it still looks the part with its baubles and lights and at least it doesn’t take up as much space.
Freya asked me to shorten the hem on her 1950’s style prom dress because “only old people wear dresses down past their knees”. This was quite a feat for a non-dressmaker as it was a completely circular skirt. I measured down from the waistline and marked points with a blue pen then used the overlocker to trim it down then finishing off a neat hem by machine. Then I had to cut down the circular underskirt with net frill and felt pretty pleased with my efforts. Unfortunately, the junior prom has now been cancelled because of the snow but she wore it to a friend’s party where it was declared a success.
The week ahead is likely to be similarly affected by snow but at least I have ordered a local turkey and veg. In the hopefully very unlikely event of a power cut, I could cut it up and barbecue it or attempt to cook it on my Yurt’s wood stove. I am fed up with seeing interviewees on the news saying ” – the snow is such a nightmare!” It is just a bit inconvenient and the landscape looks wonderfully festive. We need to pay heed to the wartime reproduction posters and tea towels in all the shops declaring, “Keep Calm and Carry On!”
Wishing everyone a Calm Week Before and a very Happy Christmas! xx