Home comforts

My boy has been home to visit us. His university had ‘reading week’ last week so he came home to do his reading in his bed, in his room, with access to clean towels and home-cooked food. It was SO wonderful to see his gorgeous face; I didn’t even mind the enormous pile of washing. The combination of having to shop and cook for himself, plus walking quite a long way to get anywhere, means he’s lost weight but he took full advantage of home comforts and returned to uni replenished, restored and with clean clothes.

I’m sure I will get used to the coming and going eventually but it’s early days. I know my three children will grow up and leave home and one day it will be a rare occurrence to have them all under one roof but in the meantime, I intend to make the most of these days. Roll on the Christmas holidays.

A big work project has just ended. I’ve not worked so intensely for a while; the two past weekends were spent at my computer and I’ve felt a little at a loss this weekend. I’m reminded of the children’s book A Squash and a Squeeze by Julia Donaldson (of The Gruffalo fame). An old woman complains her house is too small and a wise old man tells her to take in more and more animals until she can take no more. They all leave and, hey presto, her house feels palatial. I suddenly have time to do all the things I haven’t had time to do lately but I’m finding it hard to settle to anything much. I probably just need a rest. And anyway, the incredibly heavy rain and wind are not ideal bulb-planting conditions. I did buy the ingredients for the (sshhh) Christmas puddings and cake yesterday, so I could get those on the go. Or maybe I’ll curl up by the fire with my book.

David put up a mantle shelf over the wood burner in the lounge yesterday. It wasn’t as straightforward as you might imagine because the fireplace opening isn’t central on the wall. After much deliberation, we lined up the dark metal brackets with the metal surround of the fireplace and the shelf itself with the panelling on the wall. I think it works and it’s so great to have a shelf to faff with, especially with a certain holiday coming up…

Our village is marking the centenary of the World War I Armistice after dark this afternoon with a torchlight procession to the lighthouse which will shine its light in remembrance tonight. We’re walking as a family (minus one) to join other families and we’ll all be carrying 100 real flame torches together. I’ll put a stew in the oven for us to have for dinner when we get home. We have so much to be thankful for – not least that we can walk in safety with loved ones, that we have our freedom – it’s important to remember that it came at a price.

Wishing you a peaceful Sunday, whatever you are doing today.