Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Have a Cool Yule

The Dark Season Cometh
I hope everyone is prepared for the festive season. we have been wrapping gifts and posting cards. I think that the mythical white Christmas is highly unlikely as the weather has been unseasonably warm, misty and generally dreary.
I keep spotting leafless trees, still filled with apples but now we do not have the time to harvest them. Having said that, yesterday I managed to press another gallon of Apple juice out of some remaining fruit, while listening to the Saints play on the radio. 
The Apples and Pears had been laying about in my shed for a month or two and looked a little worse for wear but they were soon battered into submission. This  juice will be left to turn into cider, in order to replenish our four gallon stock that will no doubt be slightly diminished over the holiday.
We have also cracked into some of our frozen Mulberries; I wanted to make Mulberry gin and advised my daughter, who had a cold and nasty sore throat, to create a medicinal Mulberry cordial. When mixed with lemon juice and honey, this delicious tinctuer quickly soothed the pain and brought her smile back.
We have gathered Mistletoe to share with friends and neighbours and the kids have been building wreaths, one to decorate our front door and one for Grandma's. We gathered all the necessary foliage with a quick visit to Deepdene, our local wood. This consists of Hazel whips, to create the circular frame, Ivy to weave around and tie the hazel in, evergreen leaves woven in for texture and bulk and finally holly with berries for added colour.
We will be having a fire in our garden on the Winter Solstice, weather permitting. It would be fun to find a stone circle to visit. Stonehenge is quite close, as is Avebury but the thought of getting there for dawn and then going on to work, is enough to persuade me that a few extra hours in bed might be more beneficial. I'm mainly looking forward to a weeks worth of holiday, a smattering of parties and some nice walks with family and friends.