Christmas 2020 has been a different experience for everyone around the world who writes letters to Santa. Nella was not here in the build up to Christmas so Freya and I did quite a lot of advance preparation so we would not need to spend much time in the kitchen when she was home. We made sure to watch a few trashy films with happy endings and reindeers. Nessie “wrote” her Christmas letter and we posted it to the North Pole via the fire.
I left home early while it was still dark and snowing on Christmas Eve to collect Nella and we were back in time for morning coffee. I had hoped that she would attempt to eat some of the home cooked food I had made for her but as there were no nurses waiting to administer nasal-gastric feeds she did not eat or drink anything, apart from water, for 3 days.
Despite the difficulties around food, she had a lovely family Christmas. Even Fergus emerged from his shed at a sensible time of day. Everyone enjoyed their presents – Nessie got most of what she had asked for, Nella got a sock knitting machine and Freya made me an outdoor brazier from a repurposed washing machine drum! We watched TV, did a quiz, read books and simply enjoyed being together.
Nella was sad to return to the hospital on Boxing Day evening and genuinely does not see why she needs to be there so the focus for next year has to be to figure out how to get her to engage with recovery.
I plan on doing very little for the next week, apart from visiting Nella, lighting fires and deciding on which traditional quilt to make for Nella using Rose & Hubble prints (her request). Nessie is disappointed that she has run out of tasty parcels to unwrap and we have to finish re-watching “War and Peace”:)
It feels like I have had a hectic week but probably not by pre-Covid standards. There is nobody at school here anymore and of course, there have been no concerts, parties, Christmas craft fairs, trips to the cinema or in-person shopping. Just about all of my purchases were done online and I have now got everything wrapped. In order to put any parcels under the tree I will have to protect them within sturdy apple crates so Nessie does not attempt to unwrap them.
Freya is home for a few weeks so we have been busy cooking, dog walking and watching Christmas movies. She made a super wreath all using foliage from the garden.
I have made preparations for Nella coming home over Christmas so there will be minimal cooking to do while she is here. I have got stuff prepared for her in the freezer which I hope she will eat but there is every possibility that she will refuse it all. A strict lockdown in Scotland has been announced from Boxing Day so we will have to wait and see whether that will curtail my visits to her.
I feel like I still have a lot to do, although my list says otherwise and I even got my paperwork up to date. Somehow, I don’t think actual Christmas will be very relaxing this year but I dare say many people would also say the same. I think I probably just need to watch more TV and make a good effort at polishing off my bottle of sherry;)
I had a busy week finishing up customer quilts before I decide that I am “on holiday” for the Christmas season. First I finished the patchwork stocking for Fergus’ girlfriend. It is a slightly odd shape but I decided that it had to have a practical amount of space in the foot part to stuff in gifts.
I had 4 customer quilts to do using the computerised quilt machine and while they were running I used a ruler to finish a log cabin quilt in the ditch that a customer had started and struggled with on her domestic machine.
Fergus celebrated his 19th birthday at home with a large, sticky chocolate cake that had a landslide due to the outrageous amount of butter-icing in between the layers.
After slogging away at learning German on Duolingo for 10 months I have completed every single exercise. I am definitely nowhere near fluent and could not hold a sensible conversation but I could definitely understand a menu and navigate train station announcements. I have now downloaded an app called Babbel which seems more driven by conversation so I intend to keep practising.
I wrote a letter to Nella’s treatment team trying to get them to understand that she will not make any progress on the meal plan that she has been given. The quality of the hospital food is poor and they keep challenging her with fear foods that she will not attempt. As, usual, their reply to me seemed defensive and they do not intend to make any changes since they are the so-called experts. I will be writing another letter this week to complain that I had to ring the doorbell on my last minute for 20 minutes and that Nella was late for my visit by 45 minutes which she found very upsetting. Considering that parents recently received an email informing them that the unit was not short staffed, I was disappointed that no-one could be bothered to answer the door or pick up the phone!
This week I intend to deal with Christmas cards, wrapping, make space in the freezer and will probably decide to sew up some last minute gifts. There have been no Christmas festivities here this year, I have not had anyone to watch festive TV with and it seems to have been raining every day forever. I need to conjure up some seasonal cheer – maybe a bottle of sherry would help;)
It has been a woolly scarf and vintage Norwegian cardigan week, totally the wrong weather for Nessie to have a close shave. I took her to the dog groomer for a festive bath and trim but she came back almost bald. She was so cold and miserable that she had to wear a jumper! The Christmas elf jumper is cute but not warm and Bumble’s old fleeces are too big so I made her put on her pink dog onesie. We actually had wet snow overnight on Thursday which melted quickly. I was relieved because I would rather not have snow until Freya comes home for Christmas and even then, preferably not on the days when I need to visit Nella in Dundee.
I took on a commission that I was not particularly enthused about – making patchwork cushions for a widow out of her husband’s polo shirts and fleece jackets. The fabrics were not easy to deal with as they were so stretchy but I managed to get two out of six cushions completed. She will get those 2 cushions before Christmas and the others afterwards as I have several other quilts to fit in before I finish for the holidays.
I wanted to make Fergus’ girlfriend a patchwork Christmas stocking from my scrap stash. I have made 2 L-shaped quilted pieces that I have to cut into stocking outlines. I have found all sorts of things to trim it with including bells, pom-poms and prairie points. My own children may be jealous as theirs are nothing as elaborate but they are attached to them out of nostalgia.